Attitudes of influenza-vaccinated health care workers toward masks to prevent nosocomial transmission of influenza.Influenza Other Respir Viruses. 2011 Jan; 5(1):61-6.IO
Influenza viruses are highly contagious. Health care workers (HCWs) are at risk of occupational exposure to influenza and may transmit the infection to their patients and coworkers.
The aim of the study was to characterize the attitudes of HCWs regarding the use of surgical masks to prevent nosocomial influenza transmission. Furthermore, we assessed the informational needs of HCWs with regard to infection control measures.
A survey was conducted among HCWs, using an anonymous questionnaire, at a German University Hospital during an influenza vaccination campaign.
Overall, 40·5% of the HCWs were vaccinated against seasonal influenza, and 35·2% were vaccinated against Influenza A/H1N1 ("swine flu"). In total, 1445 vaccinees completed the anonymous questionnaire. Of all respondents, 70·5% stated that the infection control recommendation "wearing a surgical" mask was appropriate to avoid influenza transmission. The percentage of HCWs who would like to have had more information about the infection control measures was 67·5%.
Appropriate interventions ought to be taken to reduce the risk of exposure to influenza viruses among HCWs. Adherence to recommendations for the use of masks among HCWs needs to be evaluated. Further work is required to highlight the informational needs of HCWs to gain an appreciation of infection control measures.