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Healthcare-associated transmission of respiratory viruses is a concerning patient safety issue.
Surveillance for influenza virus among a cohort of healthcare workers (HCWs) was conducted in a tertiary care children's hospital from November 2009 through April 2010 using biweekly nasal swab specimen collection. If a subject reported respiratory symptoms, an additional specimen was collected. Specimens from ill HCWs and a randomly selected sample from asymptomatic subjects were tested for additional respiratory viruses by multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR).
A total of 1,404 nasal swab specimens were collected from 170 enrolled subjects. Influenza circulated at very low levels during the surveillance period, and 74.2% of subjects received influenza vaccination. Influenza virus was not detected in any specimen. Multiplex respiratory virus PCR analysis of all 119 specimens from symptomatic subjects and 200 specimens from asymptomatic subjects yielded a total of 42 positive specimens, including 7 (16.7%) in asymptomatic subjects. Viral shedding was associated with report of any symptom (odds ratio [OR], 13.06 [95% confidence interval, 5.45–31.28]; P< .0001) and younger age (OR, 0.96 [95% confidence interval, 0.92–0.99]; P = .023) when controlled for sex and occupation of physician or nurse. After the surveillance period, 46% of subjects reported working while ill with an influenza-like illness during the previous influenza season.
In this cohort, HCWs working while ill was common, as was viral shedding among those with symptoms. Asymptomatic viral shedding was infrequent but did occur. HCWs should refrain from patient care duties while ill, and staffing contingencies should accommodate them.
Pediatric infectious diseases (ID) fellows are required to receive training in hospital epidemiology and infection control and prevention. We sought to assess the current state of healthcare epidemiology training for fellows and to determine which topics are considered important by key stakeholders.
US pediatric ID fellowship program directors and hospital epidemiologists.
We conducted an anonymous Web-based survey in February 2012. We assessed the presence and content of curricula, perceived importance of specific topics, and barriers to career development.
Of 97 eligible participants, 76 (78%) completed the survey, representing 54 programs. Respondents were program directors (60%), hospital epidemiologists (25%), or both (15%). A total of 82% of programs with didactic curricula have infection control sessions, most commonly 1–2 hours in total duration. Of 17 identified topics, only 3 were covered by more than 50% of programs: isolation precautions (54%), central line-associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI; 53%), and hand hygiene (51%). Of the 76 respondents, 35% indicated that fellows participate in a dedicated infection control rotation. Six topics were considered very important by more than 75% of respondents: antimicrobial stewardship (94%), isolation precautions (93%), hand hygiene (90%), CLABSI (90%), surveillance for resistant bacteria (81%), and communicable disease exposure management (81%).
Pediatric ID fellowship programs dedicate little time to didactic or experiential learning in healthcare epidemiology. There are a wide array of topics that the majority of programs do not cover, including several subjects that are considered to be very important by program directors and hospital epidemiologists. Creating a standardized pediatric infection control curriculum would likely benefit fellows in training.
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