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Study: Clinical and nonclinical workers susceptible to H1N1

Nonclinical healthcare workers were just as likely to come down with the flu as were clinical workers during the H1N1 pandemic, according to a study published August issue of  Clinical Infectious Diseases.

In examining 1158 confirmed H1N1 infections among Hong Kong healthcare workers, there was no no significant difference among clinical versus on clinical staff, according to “Clinical and Nonclinical Health Care Workers Faced a Similar Risk of Acquiring 2009 Pandemic H1N1 Infection. [1]” Community exposure to H1N1 was not a variable as it was similar in both groups, say the researchers.

“Monitoring Major Illness in Health Care Workers and Hospital Staff,” [2] a commentary appearing in the same issue, encourages more studies similar to the one above.

Most studies of nosocomial influenza and other infections focus primarily on patients, but health care workers (HCWs) and hospitals are likely to be central to disease transmission, prevention, and risk. Unfortunately, most studies of disease transmission within hospitals treat HCWs as “fixtures” rather than dynamic members of a disease transmission network, and there has been inadequate investment in the study of disease transmission among HCWs.