Methods: A 1-page voluntary, anonymous ILI survey was administered during the end of program sessions for military medical trainees at Fort Sam Houston (JBSA-FSH), TX. The survey was started in January 2017 and is ongoing.
Results: Between January and April 2017, 724 surveys were returned: respondents were aged 17-42 years (median 20 yo), 299 (41%) were female, and 442 (62%) white. The trainees maintained a healthy and active life style: 94% exercised at least 3 times a week; 79% never smoked and only 3% were obese. Overall, 68% trainees reported ILI symptoms during training: the proportion decreased from 75% in January to 46% in April (p-for-trend <0.01). History of travel and self-reported contact to people with ILI were associated with reporting having ILI. Of those reporting ILI, only 36% sought health care, and the proportion did not change over the four month period. Females were more likely to seek health care if they developed ILI: 43% of females vs. 31% of males (p=0.02). While the majority of trainees washed their hands or used hand sanitizer at least 4 times a day, only 60% of trainees washed their hands after covering their mouth/nose for a sneeze, which may facilitate ILI circulation in the population.
Conclusion: Among young and healthy medical trainees at JBSA-FSH, ILI was reported frequently during winter and decreased in spring. Trainees often did not seek health care for mild symptoms. The high prevalence of self-reported ILI among trainees despite their healthy life styles and good daily hand hygiene warrants further study. A better understanding of the impact of self-reported ILI on performance and of factors associated with health-care seeking are needed.
W. J. Chen,
P. Danaher, None
T. Burgess, None
C. Coles, None