[Technical report on the 2009 influenza A (H1N1) pandemic.]
INTRODUCTION: Since its appearance in April 2009, the influenza A (H1N1) pandemic has been a subject of continued attention by national and international health authorities, as well as in the communication media. It has been six months since the first cases were published and the winter season has just ended in the southern hemisphere. Therefore, we now have quite extensive knowledge on the behaviour of the disease, its severity and the way it manifests itself in the child/adolescent population. The Spanish Paediatric Association commissioned its Evidence Based Medicine Working Group to prepare a technical report on the influenza pandemic. This report has been prepared following the highly structured working methodology proposed by the so-called Evidence Based Medicine (EBM). This methodology requires formulating clinical questions, carrying out a systematic review of the literature looking for research works that could answer them, the critical reading of these, evaluating their methodology quality and clinical importance and finally, establishing recommendations based on those studies considered valid and important as well as on good clinical judgement. SCOPE: The present report approaches all aspects of the influenza pandemic considered to be of interest: extent of the disease, clinical and laboratory diagnosis, physical prevention measures, vaccination and pharmacological treatment. The target population of the report are children and adolescents. Many of the considerations made may also be applied to other age groups. OBJECTIVES: The primary objective of this report is to establish a group of recommendations which may serve as a generic framework for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of the pandemic influenza in children and adolescents. The final targets of the report are paediatricians and also general/family doctors and nurses who look after children and adolescents.
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