688. Impact of Expanded Influenza Post-exposure Prophylaxis on Health Care Worker Absenteeism at a Tertiary Care Center during the 2017–2018 Season
Session: Poster Abstract Session: Public Health: Epidemiology and Outbreaks
Thursday, October 4, 2018
Room: S Poster Hall
  • POSTER_ID week_2018_20181002.pdf (394.7 kB)
  • Background:

    A severe 2017–2018 Influenza season was expected for the United States. We hypothesized that a surge in influenza cases paired with decreased vaccine effectiveness could increase health care worker (HCW) absenteeism. Because of a potential public health emergency during the 2017–2018 season, we offered oseltamivir post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) to exposed HCWs regardless of vaccination status. We describe PEP uptake, cost, and impact on absenteeism at the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics (UIHC).


    UIHC serves as a referral and safety net health system for Eastern Iowa. Influenza seasons were defined as the period between week 40 from one year to week 13 of the following year. During the 2016–2017 season, PEP (75 mg/day for 7 days) was offered free of charge to unvaccinated exposed HCWs. Exposure was defined as proximity within 3 feet of a confirmed influenza-infected person for ≥10 minutes without mask protection, or direct contact with respiratory secretions. During the 2017–2018 season, PEP was expanded to all exposed HCWs regardless of vaccination status. We reviewed surveillance, employee health, pharmacy, and human resources records for the 2016–2017 and 2017–2018 seasons. We defined PEP uptake as prescriptions picked up/all referrals and absenteeism rate as sick-leave requests/scheduled hours.


    During the 2016–2017 and 2017­­–2018 seasons, we detected 373 and 427 confirmed influenza cases among patients at UIHC. HCW vaccination rates were similar: 89.7% and 90.9%. PEP was recommended in 49 exposures during 2016–2017 and 280 exposures during 2017­­–2018. A total of 22 (44.9%) and 133 (47.5%) HCWs picked up oseltamivir from the pharmacy during the 2016–2017 and 2017­­–2018 seasons. The estimated cost of oseltamivir was $1,791 and $10,828, respectively. Overall, 6,187 sick-leave requests (median = 12 h, absenteeism rate = 3.2%), and 6,174 sick-leave requests (median = 12 h, absenteeism rate = 3.4%) were reported during the 2016–2017 and 2017–2018 seasons.


    Influenza case counts mildly increased from the 2016–2017 to the 2017–2018 season. Expanding PEP to all exposed HCWs, regardless of vaccination status, had moderate uptake and was costly. Absenteeism rates remained similar during both seasons.

    Mireia Puig-Asensio, MD, PhD, Margaret Douglas, RRT, MPH, Stephanie Holley, MBA, BSN, Mary Beth Kukla, BSN, RN, Oluchi Abosi, MPH, MBChB, Lisa Mascardo, PharmD, Brenda Carmody, BS Pharm RPh, Courtney Gent, PharmD, Daniel Diekema, MD, FIDSA, FSHEA, Patrick Hartley, MD, MPH, Michael Edmond, MD, MPH, MPA, FIDSA, FSHEA and Jorge L Salinas, MD, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City, IA


    M. Puig-Asensio, None

    M. Douglas, None

    S. Holley, None

    M. B. Kukla, None

    O. Abosi, None

    L. Mascardo, None

    B. Carmody, None

    C. Gent, None

    D. Diekema, None

    P. Hartley, None

    M. Edmond, None

    J. L. Salinas, None

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