In light of interest in the ongoing H1N1 influenza outbreak, several scientific papers are being published online ahead of schedule. A special supplement to the American Journal of Public Health (AJPH) on influenza preparedness, in which these and other papers appear, will be published as scheduled later this year.

Additionally, AJPH has made accessible to the public more than 160 influenza-related articles that have appeared in previous issues.

The papers highlighted below were developed prior to the current outbreak as guidance for a potential severe influenza pandemic. Up-to-date information and guidance on H1N1 influenza can be found at www.cdc/h1n1flu.

Among the articles selected for early publication are several papers commissioned by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) providing advice for protecting the health of vulnerable populations during a severe influenza pandemic:

-- "Pandemic Influenza and Pregnant Women: Summary of a Meeting of Experts" provides a summary of expert input that emerged from a meeting designed to integrate scientific evidence and expert opinion around planning to meet the health needs of pregnant women during an influenza pandemic.

-- "Protecting Home Health Care Workers: A Challenge to Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Planning" summarizes findings which highlight the need to integrate home health care employers, workers, community advocates and labor unions into the pandemic planning process.

-- "Pandemic Influenza Preparedness and Vulnerable Populations in Tribal Communities" outlines potential issues to consider in identifying and providing appropriate services for vulnerable populations in tribal communities and highlights available preparedness resources.

-- "Pandemic Influenza Preparedness and Response Among Immigrants and Refugees" offers advice from experts and service providers to help immigrants and refugees overcome limited resources, inaccessible health services, language barriers, cross-cultural misunderstandings and inexperience in adhering to public health guidelines during an influenza pandemic.

Also included among the influenza-related articles released ahead of schedule are:

-- "Pandemic Influenza and Pregnancy: An Opportunity to Reassess Maternal Bioethics" which explores the ethical challenges presented by pregnant women when planning for a pandemic, particularly in relation to resource allocation.

-- "The Open-Air Treatment of Pandemic Influenza" which is a historical examination of the 1918 H1N1 "Spanish flu" outbreak that argues for an emphasis on "open-air" temporary hospitals in emergency planning, as well as other measures taken during the 1918 pandemic.

-- "Disparities in Influenza Treatment among Disabled Medicaid Patients in Georgia" which presents the finding of a research study investigating whether racial/ethnic, geographic or gender disparities exist in the usage of antiviral drugs for treating influenza.

The American Journal of Public Health is published by the American Public Health Association

Source: American Public Health Association (APHA)

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