Risk Factors for Influenza among Health Care Workers during 2009 Pandemic, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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This prospective cohort study, performed during the 2009 influenza A(H1N1) pandemic, was aimed to determine whether adults working in acute care hospitals were at higher risk than other working adults for influenza and to assess risk factors for influenza among health care workers (HCWs). We assessed the risk for influenza among 563 HCWs and 169 non-HCWs using PCR to test nasal swab samples collected during acute respiratory illness; results for 13 (2.2%) HCWs and 7 (4.1%) non-HCWs were positive for influenza. Influenza infection was associated with contact with family members who had acute respiratory illnesses (adjusted odds ratio [AOR]: 6.9, 95% CI 2.2-21.8); performing aerosol-generating medical procedures (AOR 2.0, 95% CI 1.1-3.5); and low self-reported adherence to hand hygiene recommendations (AOR 0.9, 95% CI 0.7-1.0). Contact with persons with acute respiratory illness, rather than workplace, was associated with influenza infection. Adherence to infection control recommendations may prevent influenza among HCWs.
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