Half of healthcare workers infected with H1N1 influenza A, commonly known as swine flu, acquired the virus in a healthcare setting and did not use all recommended forms of personal protective equipment on a consistent basis, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in its weekly report.
The Atlanta-based agency said it had solicited reports from state health departments to better understand the risk of infection among healthcare personnel and the effect of infection-control procedures. By mid-May, the CDC had received 48 reports of confirmed or probable cases of the infection; of those, 26 reports included detailed case reports with information regarding risk factors that could have led to the infection. Of the 26 cases, 13 (healthcare personnel) were deemed to have acquired infection in a healthcare setting.
None of the healthcare personnel infected by ill patients reported fully adhering to CDCs recommendations on infection control for care of patients with novel H1N1 virus infection in healthcare settings, said the reports synopsis. These results highlight the need for healthcare facilities to maintain adherence to infection-control recommendations, to recognize and triage potentially infectious patients, to provide adequate infection-control resources, and to train staff in infection-control practices and proper use of personal protective equipment.