Academic Network
 

Articles for November, 2009

Academic Network Builds Upon Health Expertise to Provide Social Media Services for Health Industries

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

Medical Experts Enhance the Online Identity of Your Product

Your customers are talking about you online. You want to be fluent in the conversation.

Academic Network, a Stericycle company, has developed an outsourcing online management service targeted to the pharmaceutical, food and beverage industries.  The service includes both an online audit and ongoing reputation monitoring by health professionals trained in medicine, nutrition and identifying adverse events. The service is designed to offer companies an outsourcing solution at a fraction of the cost of building and maintaining an online reputation management system in-house.

Clients use Academic Network’s professional social media staff to monitor and engage with others online, thereby enhancing their brand. Academic Network has created an outsourcing model to manage the risk and provide the expertise to help companies not only launch a social media campaign but maintain their reputation online at a fraction of the cost. A successful social media campaign involves dedicated resources to effectively monitor and manage online conversations about a company’s products.  Academic Network’s health professionals provide the expertise to assure that any adverse conversations online are brought to the attention of their clients to protect the safety of their products and customers.

Many companies have started to use social media tools but have not considered the overall costs to build and maintain a successful online program. Academic Network offers an outsourcing solution that will add expertise, while reducing overall costs in equipment, software and staff. The savings incurred mirrors that of traditional call center outsourcing, and takes advantage of the shared resources that Academic Network offers.

Influenza Facts: H1N1 vs. Seasonal

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009

As the Old Man Winter approaches and the air blows with a chill, summer-loving folk deny the upcoming cold season by continuing to wear sun hats and flip flops. However, with 5% to 20% of the United States population contracting the flu each year, maybe it’s time to consider tube socks instead of tube tops.

This flu season promises to be a particularly harsh one, with the entrance of a new strain of Influenza virus: the H1N1, or “swine” flu. Last week alone, CDC has tested 8,268 people positive for Influenza. All subtyped influenza A viruses being reported to CDC were 2009 influenza A (H1N1) viruses. Whereas the typical flu season starts in late November, making the emergence of the H1N1 virus first influenza pandemic (global outbreak of disease) in more than 40 years. Additionally, the flu season has started earlier than usual, with over 13,000 cases of the flu nationwide since August 30th.

The signs of the H1N1 are quite similar to the Seasonal Flu, requiring a test to differentiate between strains.

Seasonal Flu
All types of flu can cause:

o Fever
o Coughing and/or sore throat
o Runny or stuffy nose
o Headaches and/or body aches
o Chills
o Fatigue Similar to seasonal flu, but symptoms may be more severe.

H1N1 Flu
There may be additional symptoms. A significant number of H1N1 flu cases:

o Vomiting
ο Diarrhea

Source: http://flu.gov/individualfamily/about/h1n1/index.html

For both types of flu, symptoms can range from mild to severe.

Despite this new strain of flu virus, CDC’s recommendations to avoid getting sick remain the same:

ο Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
ο Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
ο Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
ο Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
ο Stay home if you are sick until at least 24 hours after you no longer have a fever (100°F or 37.8°C) or signs of a fever (without the use of a fever-reducing medicine, such as Tylenol®).
ο Follow public health advice regarding school closures, avoiding crowds and other social distancing measures.

Additionally, CDC recommends that those at high risk for contracting either type of Influenza virus be vaccinated. Those groups include:

For seasonal flu:
People who should get the seasonal vaccine each year are:
1. Children aged 6 months up to their 19th birthday
2. Pregnant women
3. People 50 years of age and older
4. People of any age with certain chronic medical conditions
5. People who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities
6. People who live with or care for those at high risk for complications from flu, including:
• Health care workers
• Household contacts of persons at high risk for complications from the flu
• Household contacts and caregivers of children <5 years of age with particular emphasis on vaccinating  contacts of children <6 months of age (these children are at higher risk of flu-related complications

For the H1N1 virus, prioritized groups for vaccination include:
1. People with more severe illness, such as those hospitalized with suspected or confirmed influenza
2. People with suspected or confirmed influenza who are at higher risk for complications
• Children younger than 2 years old
• Adults 65 years and older
• Pregnant women
• People with certain chronic medical or immunosuppressive conditions
3. People younger than 19 years of age who are receiving long-term aspirin therapy

So, remember: When Jack Frost comes nipping at your nose, it’s time to bundle up, keep your hands clean, cover your coughs and get your flu vaccine.

Sources

(2009). Questions and Answers Regarding Estimating Deaths from Seasonal Influenza in the United States. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/disease/us_flu-related_deaths.htm

(30 October 2009). 2009-2010 Influenza Season Week 42 ending October 24, 2009. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/

(1 October 2009) 2009-10 Influenza (Flu) Season: Questions & Answers about the 2009-2010 Flu Season. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/season/current-season.htm

(16 October 2009) http://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/weeklyarchives2009-2010/weekly40.htm

(2009) H1N1 (Swine Flu). Flu.gov. Retrieved from http://flu.gov/individualfamily/about/h1n1/index.html#prevent

(16 October 2009). Key Facts About Seasonal Flu Vaccine. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/FLU/protect/keyfacts.htm

(23 September 2009). Questions & Answers: Antiviral Drugs, 2009-2010 Flu Season. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/antiviral.htm