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In April 2009, 2009 pandemic influenza A (H1N1) (hereafter, pH1N1) virus was identified in California, which caused widespread illness throughout the United States. We evaluated pH1N1 transmission among exposed healthcare personnel (HCP) and assessed the use and effectiveness of personal protective equipment (PPE) early in the outbreak.
Two hospitals and 1 outpatient clinic in Southern California during March 28-April 24, 2009.
Sixty-three HCP exposed to 6 of the first 8 cases of laboratory-confirmed pH1N1 in the United States.
Baseline and follow-up questionnaires were used to collect demographic, epidemiologic, and clinical data. Paired serum samples were obtained to test for pH1N1-specific antibodies by microneutralization and hemagglutination-inhibition assays. Serology results were compared with HCP work setting, role, and self-reported PPE use.
Possible healthcare-associated pH1N1 transmission was identified in 9 (14%) of 63 exposed HCP; 6 (67%) of 9 seropositive HCP had asymptomatic infection. The highest attack rates occurred among outpatient HCP (6/19 [32%]) and among allied health staff (eg, technicians; 8/33 [24%]). Use of mask or N95 respirator was associated with remaining seronegative (P = .047). Adherence to PPE recommendations for preventing transmission of influenza virus and other respiratory pathogens was inadequate, particularly in outpatient settings.
pH1N1 transmission likely occurred in healthcare settings early in the pandemic associated with inadequate PPE use. Organizational support for a comprehensive approach to infectious hazards, including infection prevention training for inpatient- and outpatient-based HCP, is essential to improve HCP and patient safety.
Increasing prevalence of childhood obesity calls for comprehensive and cost-effective educative measures in developing countries such as India. School-based educative programmes greatly influence children's behaviour towards healthy living. We aimed to evaluate the impact of a school-based health and nutritional education programme on knowledge and behaviour of urban Asian Indian school children. Benchmark assessment of parents and teachers was also done. We educated 40 196 children (aged 8–18 years), 25 000 parents and 1500 teachers about health, nutrition, physical activity, non-communicable diseases and healthy cooking practices in three cities of North India. A pre-tested questionnaire was used to assess randomly selected 3128 children, 2241 parents and 841 teachers before intervention and 2329 children after intervention. Low baseline knowledge and behaviour scores were reported in 75–94 % government and 48–78 % private school children, across all age groups. A small proportion of government school children gave correct answers about protein (14–17 %), carbohydrates (25–27 %) and saturated fats (18–32 %). Private school children, parents and teachers performed significantly better than government school subjects (P < 0·05). Following the intervention, scores improved in all children irrespective of the type of school (P < 0·001). A significantly higher improvement was observed in younger children (aged 8–11 years) as compared with those aged 12–18 years, in females compared with males and in government schools compared with private schools (P < 0·05 for all). Major gaps exist in health and nutrition-related knowledge and behaviour of urban Asian Indian children, parents and teachers. This successful and comprehensive educative intervention could be incorporated in future school-based health and nutritional education programmes.
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