930. Self-reported Severity and Impact of Laboratory-confirmed Influenza and Non-influenza Acute Respiratory Illness Among Healthcare Personnel, 2010-11
Session: Poster Abstract Session: Respiratory Infections
Friday, October 4, 2013
Room: The Moscone Center: Poster Hall C
  • 930_Irving_Poster.pdf (543.0 kB)
  • Background: Healthcare personnel (HCP) are particularly at risk of acquiring and transmitting influenza and other respiratory viruses. The perception of influenza as a non-serious illness has been shown to impact uptake of influenza prevention strategies. However, there is little information on the severity and impact of influenza among HCP specifically and how influenza illness compares to non-influenza acute respiratory illness in this population.

    Methods: We enrolled a cohort of HCP prior to the 2010-11 influenza season. Participants completed weekly illness surveillance surveys through April 2011 and agreed to daily screening of their electronic medical records. Participants who reported illness or had a medical encounter for respiratory illness were screened by study staff; respiratory specimens were collected from those who reported fever/feverishness/chills and cough. At specimen collection participants were interviewed regarding their illness episode, including severity of individual symptoms (absent, mild, moderate, severe). Influenza testing was performed by real time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction. We compared influenza and non-influenza illnesses with regard to symptom presence, severity, and impact on activities.

    Results: The cohort consisted of 1701 HCP, of whom 267 (16%) met the case definition for specimen collection. Of 267 tested, 58 (22%) were positive for influenza. Compared to influenza-negative participants, fever, chills, and wheezing were more common among influenza-positive participants (p=0.01, 0.03, and <0.01 respectively) and the summed subjective severity of 12 symptoms was higher among those with influenza (p<0.001). Influenza-positive participants were more likely to report missed work due to illness (67% vs. 51%, p=0.03) and increased impairment of daily activities (p<0.01) compared to influenza-negative participants.

    Conclusion: HCP reported influenza illness to be more severe than non-influenza acute respiratory illness. Influenza illness had a greater impact on daily activities, including work attendance, than non-influenza illness. These findings add to growing literature that influenza is more severe than other respiratory viruses and add support for influenza prevention strategies among HCP.

    Stephanie Irving, MHS1, Emily Henkle, PhD, MPH2, Manjusha Gaglani, MBBS3, Sarah Ball, MPH, ScD4, Mark Thompson, PhD5 and Allison Naleway, PhD1, (1)The Center for Health Research, Kaiser Permanente Northwest, Portland, OR, (2)Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR, (3)Pediatrics, Scott & White Healthcare, Texas A&M Univ HSC COM, Temple, TX, (4)Abt Associates, Cambridge, MA, (5)Epidemiology and Prevention Branch, Influenza Division, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA


    S. Irving, None

    E. Henkle, None

    M. Gaglani, MedImmune : Investigator, Research grant
    Novartis: Investigator, Research grant

    S. Ball, None

    M. Thompson, None

    A. Naleway, GlaxoSmithKline: Investigator, Research grant

    Findings in the abstracts are embargoed until 12:01 a.m. PST, Oct. 2nd with the exception of research findings presented at the IDWeek press conferences.