Occupational health for health care workers - a practical guide. Hasselhorn HM, Toomingas A, Lagerstrom M, eds. Amsterdam: Elsevier Science, 1999 Aug; :73-76
The influenza virus continues to infect humans and to cause epidemics because the virus strains have the ability to mutate resulting in frequent changes in the antigenic profile (called antigenic drift). Less often, a novel virus subtype, to which humans are not immune, appears due to antigenic shift and can result in worldwide pandemics. The influenza virus is spread through infected aerosol or secretions generated during sneezing, coughing or talking. Incubation time ranges from 18-36 hours and even persons with mild symptoms or sub-clinical infection may transmit virus. Health care workers (HCW) who have close and prolonged exposure to infected secretions and droplets released during talking, coughing or sneezing by infected persons are at highest risk for becoming infected. HCW can serve as vectors for the person-to-person transmission of influenza virus in the workplace. Furthermore, HCW who are not vaccinated are likely to transmit virus to patients who may be susceptible to severe infection and even fatal outcomes after nosocomial transmission of influenza.
Health-care-personnel; Health-care-facilities; Infectious-diseases; Infection-control; Viral-infections
Book or book chapter
Hasselhorn-HM; Toomingas-A; Lagerstrom-M
Occupational health for health care workers - a practical guide