Reinforced Infection Control Needed to Combat H1N1

Health care personnel are picking up infections in medical and community settings
By Jane Parry
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, June 22 (HealthDay News) -- Infection control messages aimed at health care workers should be reinforced in an effort to reduce the spread of novel influenza A (H1N1) virus, according to a study published in the June 19 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Kathleen Harriman, Ph.D., of the California Department of Public Health in Sacramento, and colleagues analyzed data sent to the CDC on 48 confirmed or probable infections with novel influenza A (H1N1) virus, of which 26 had detailed case reports, including information on the possible route of infection.

In all, 13 (50 percent) of the cases with detailed notes were thought to have acquired the infection in a health care setting, comprising 12 infections transmitted from patients and one from another member of staff, while 11 probably acquired infections in the community, the investigators found. Eleven of the cases acquired in a hospital setting provided information on use of personal protective equipment and only three consistently used a surgical or N95 mask, the researchers discovered.

"These findings suggest that transmission of novel influenza A (H1N1) virus to health care personnel is occurring in both health care and community settings and that additional messages aimed at reinforcing current infection control recommendations are needed," the authors conclude.

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