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Nosocomial transmission of influenza is a major concern for infection control. We aimed to dissect transmission dynamics of influenza, including asymptomatic transmission events, in acute care.
Prospective surveillance study during 2 influenza seasons.
Volunteer sample of inpatients on medical wards and healthcare workers (HCWs).
Participants provided daily illness diaries and nasal swabs for influenza A and B detection and whole-genome sequencing for phylogenetic analyses. Contacts between study participants were tracked. Secondary influenza attack rates were calculated based on spatial and temporal proximity and phylogenetic evidence for transmission.
In total, 152 HCWs and 542 inpatients were included; 16 HCWs (10.5%) and 19 inpatients (3.5%) tested positive for influenza on 109 study days. Study participants had symptoms of disease on most of the days they tested positive for influenza (83.1% and 91.9% for HCWs and inpatients, respectively). Also, 11(15.5%) of 71 influenza-positive swabs among HCWs and 3 (7.9%) of 38 influenza-positive swabs among inpatients were collected on days without symptoms; 2 (12.5%) of 16 HCWs and 2 (10.5%) of 19 inpatients remained fully asymptomatic. The secondary attack rate was low: we recorded 1 transmission event over 159 contact days (0.6%) that originated from a symptomatic case. No transmission event occurred in 61 monitored days of contacts with asymptomatic influenza-positive individuals.
Influenza in acute care is common, and individuals regularly shed influenza virus without harboring symptoms. Nevertheless, both symptomatic and asymptomatic transmission events proved rare. We suggest that healthcare-associated influenza prevention strategies that are based on preseason vaccination and barrier precautions for symptomatic individuals seem to be effective.
To assess influenza symptoms, adherence to mask use recommendations, absenteesm and presenteeism in acute care healthcare workers (HCWs) during influenza epidemics.
The TransFLUas influenza transmission study in acute healthcare prospectively followed HCWs prospectively over 2 consecutive influenza seasons. Symptom diaries asking for respiratory symptoms and adherence with mask use recommendations were recorded on a daily basis, and study participants provided midturbinate nasal swabs for influenza testing.
In total, 152 HCWs (65.8% nurses and 13.2% physicians) were included: 89.1% of study participants reported at least 1 influenza symptom during their study season and 77.8% suffered from respiratory symptoms. Also, 28.3% of HCW missed at least 1 working day during the study period: 82.6% of these days were missed because of symptoms of influenza illness. Of all participating HCWs, 67.9% worked with symptoms of influenza infection on 8.8% of study days. On 0.3% of study days, symptomatic HCWs were shedding influenza virus while at work. Among HCWs with respiratory symptoms, 74.1% adhered to the policy to wear a mask at work on 59.1% of days with respiratory symptoms.
Respiratory disease is frequent among HCWs and imposes a significant economic burden on hospitals due to the number of working days lost. Presenteesm with respiratory illness, including influenza, is also frequent and poses a risk for patients and staff.
To reduce surgical site infection (SSI) incidence in plastic surgery and hand surgery.
Uncontrolled before-and-after study.
Department of plastic surgery and hand surgery of a tertiary-care teaching hospital.
Patients undergoing surgery between January 2016 and April 2018.
A comprehensive unit-based safety program (CUSP) consisting of a bundle of evidence-based SSI prevention strategies and a change in safety culture was fully implemented after a 14-month baseline surveillance and implementation period. SSI surveillance was performed over an intervention period of another 14 months, and differences in SSI rates between the 2 periods were calculated. Adherence with bundle components and risk factors for SSI were further evaluated in a case-cohort analysis.
Of 3,321 patients, 63 (1.9%) developed an SSI, 38 of 1,722 (2.2%) in the baseline group and 25 of 1,599 (1.6%) in the intervention group (P = .20). The CUSP was associated with an adjusted relative SSI risk reduction of 41% (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.4%–65%; P = .048) in multivariable analysis, whereas the need for revision surgery increased SSI risk (odds ratio [OR], 2.63; 95% CI, 1.31–5.30; P = .007). During the intervention period, the proportion of checklists completed was 62.4%, and no difference in adherence with bundle components between patients with and without SSI was observed.
This CUSP helped reduce SSI in a surgical specialty with a low baseline SSI incidence, even though adherence with checklist completion was moderate and the main modifiable risk factors remained unchanged over time. Programs that include safety culture change may more effectively promote SSI reduction than prevention bundles alone.
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