Annual Burden of Occupationally-Acquired Influenza Infections in Hospitals and Emergency Departments in the United States
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Infections among health-care personnel (HCP) occur as a result of providing care to patients with infectious diseases, but surveillance is limited to a few diseases. The objective of this study is to determine the annual number of influenza infections acquired by HCP as a result of occupational exposures to influenza patients in hospitals and emergency departments (EDs) in the United States. A risk analysis approach was taken. A compartmental model was used to estimate the influenza dose received in a single exposure, and a dose-response function applied to calculate the probability of infection. A three-step algorithm tabulated the total number of influenza infections based on: the total number of occupational exposures (tabulated in previous work), the total number of HCP with occupational exposures, and the probability of infection in an occupational exposure. Estimated influenza infections were highly dependent upon the dose-response function. Given current compliance with infection control precautions, we estimated 151,300 and 34,150 influenza infections annually with two dose-response functions (annual incidence proportions of 9.3% and 2.1%, respectively). Greater reductions in infectious were achieved by full compliance with vaccination and IC precautions than with patient isolation. The burden of occupationally-acquired influenza among HCP in hospitals and EDs in the United States is not trivial, and can be reduced through improved compliance with vaccination and preventive measures, including engineering and administrative controls.
CitationJones, R. M. and Xia, Y. L. Annual Burden of Occupationally-Acquired Influenza Infections in Hospitals and Emergency Departments in the United States. Risk Analysis. 2018. 38(3): 442-453. 10.1111/risa.12854.
SubjectMicrobial risk assessment