The global pandemic has amplified the importance of infection prevention and control in senior living communities, making it essential for leaders to ensure that measures are put in place to protect seniors from life-threatening illnesses. In an increasingly interconnected world, the health of our elderly population is more vulnerable than ever before and it’s up to us to understand the potential risks and implement strategies that can help prevent the spread of infectious diseases and reduce their severity when they do occur.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released two new Respiratory Disease Dashboards which provide an integrated view of hospitalizations caused by COVID-19, influenza, and respiratory syncytial virus. These resources equip healthcare professionals and senior living decision makers with the real-time data they need to identify trends in virus circulation, estimate disease burden across seasons, and take swift action when necessary. With access to timely information on all three viruses at their fingertips, clinical teams can be better prepared as we continue navigating this pandemic together.
The Respiratory Virus Hospitalization Surveillance Network (RESP-NET) interactive dashboard provides up-to-date data on COVID, influenza and RSV hospitalizations in thirteen states across the US. Representing a population of 29 million people, or roughly 8 – 10% of all Americans, this tool allows users to compare rates between seasons and demographic groups such as age, sex and race/ethnicity. By tracking trends week over week RESP-NET can help inform IPC decisions for everyone from individual patients to policy makers at large.
Through the joint effort of CDC and other public health organizations, an informational dashboard has been released for tracking respiratory illness trends across multiple care settings. By monitoring emergency department visit data from a nationwide network comprising federal partners, state/local authorities and private sector collaborators — before any diagnosis is confirmed—the National Syndromic Surveillance Program (NSSP) provides early warning alerts that can help to identify unusual levels of certain illnesses or outbreaks in real-time.
These two dashboards are subject to change but give you the tools you need to proactively create safe environments for residents in your care – both during normal times and amid public health crises like today’s rapidly changing COVID pandemic. For more information, visit www.cdc.gov.