CDC reports 81 U.S. healthcare workers have H1N1 virus

  1. The CDC says about half of the workers caught the virus while on the job. The finding suggests that hospitals and workers are not taking sufficient preventive measures.

    At least 81 U.S. healthcare workers have contracted laboratory-confirmed cases of the novel H1N1 influenza virus and about half caught the bug on the job, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday.

    The finding is worrisome because it suggests that hospitals and workers are not taking sufficient preventive measures to limit the spread of the virus.

    If a large-scale outbreak of the virus recurs this fall, a similar infection rate could cause significant problems -- not only because it would limit the number of workers available to care for the sick, but also because the infected nurses, doctors and others could transmit the virus to debilitated patients before their own symptoms become apparent. Already-ill patients would be more likely to develop life-threatening side effects from the flu.

    Full Story: http://www.latimes.com/news/nationwo...,7032033.story
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    About Brian, ADN

    Joined: Mar '98; Posts: 15,418; Likes: 16,382
    allnurses.com founder; from US
    Specialty: CCU, Geriatrics, Critical Care, Tele

    18 Comments

  3. by   CraigB-RN
    Its not my patients that I worry about, it's the person standing behind me at Walmart who coughed all over me that worries me. Another issue is one that pops up here every now and again are the nurses who believe that vaccines are risky and not worth the risk to get.

    I'd like to see the demogrphics of those 81 health care workers. Family exposure and things like but it is concerning.
  4. by   RedWeasel
    I worry about my coworkers. Yep. One nurse was folding up a pts bloody pants at the nursing station on the desk without gloves on and was shaking em around in the air. What?!...yeah I worry...that and we aren't testing for the flu in our state. 2500 in one border state and 3000 in another, but ours has the same number it did two weeks ago (under 100?). Yeah right. I don't want to get sick because our state, hospital and staff are ignorant. They seem to be. We had a guy with fever, cough, suddenly developed. They thought it was CHF, but the cxr was 'okay' and he had a fever....whatever. I am just getting so frustrated. I don't want this to be a case of hindsight being 20/20. "Gee, maybe we should have wore masks, even if he wasn't tested....we could have protected ourselves at least...." Going to bed. Thanks for all the input here it has been stress relieving to know some people are concerned but not paranoid.
  5. by   nursemarion
    OMG I am reading the book "The Great Influenza" by John M. Barry and it is so scary! It is the story of the 1918 flu pandemic that killed so many. Did you know it was also an H1N1 virus? I dread the start of school again in the Fall, I am sure we have a long way to go with this.
  6. by   oramar
    That article made me squirm. It suggest somehow that health care workers are somehow responsible for their own flu due to their own negligence. Stuff like that is the reason why I am glad I am sitting this one out. What they really need is a public policy statement that says that the powers that be realize the flu is highly contagious and that health care workers will be covered by work mens comp in cases where they come down with it. We need to be reassured that there will be no blame and no punishment for infected workers. Never once did I hear any one blame nurses who died in droves in the 1918 for their deaths or their illnesses. They were considered heroic by the public. Statements like one made in this article can be used by health care management to wiggle out of their responsiblities to infected workers. Health care workers are not taking proper precautions??? Do they have proper equipment? Do they have extra staff? Does anyone think that the mildly ill infective family members of hospitalized patients are wondering the halls passing it around?
    Last edit by oramar on Jun 21, '09
  7. by   doesanyoneknowwhy
    hey the CDC media is letting Americans down. I am only a nursing student, and I just thought that it might be a good idea to remind my fiance that the chances contracting this flu is still very, very real, SO PRACTICE GOOD GOOD HYGEINE, and do not shake hands with you clients. He just looked at me and said I think you are alright. And I said back to him, just becuase we are not hearing about it on the news like a month ago, it is still very much spreading. My God, I have been hand washing cloths, becuase I live in an apartment complex where everybody does their l aundry in the same w/d, so I am being very, very careful.

    I caught my nursing instructor in the restroom not washing her hands properly, she did not use soapl, i repeat, SHE DID NOT USE SOAP, and she BARELY put her hands in the water. CAN YOU ALL BELIEVE THAT????? WOOOOOO!!!!

    go shopping at wal mar when you have too, make as few trips as possible, good GOD people in wal mart ----we have no idea what they are walking around with. I go to Krogers late at night to shop, and order my cloths online from JC Penny, YOU CAN GET GREAT PRICES ONLINE FROM JC PENNY.

    hey, i stopped a bartender from putting a lime in my Carona, he picked the lime up with his bare hands, he liked to died when I said to give me another beer. You have to watch people

    What about the nasty classroom desks at college, me and my friend took clorox-carry size-with us to class and wiped our desk tops, and labs tables.

    Ya know, I do have to give props to Kings Island in Cincinatti, OH. They were doing a good jobs keeping the bathrooms clean. I was really impressed.

    folks, we just do not know where people have been, where their hands have been, what kinds of activities they are involved in, people can be gross.

    Just protect yourself. But it is pretty bad when HC workers are careless, and spread it to everybody else. They just don't care. Period.................
  8. by   nursemarion
    doesanyoneknowwhy- your post cracked me up!

    BTW- Do not go into home health nursing, you will go insane from the things you have to experience in people's homes (roaches, fleas, maggots, scabies, other assorted pests, etc.). If Wal Mart freaks you out- oh girl there is so much more out there!
  9. by   doesanyoneknowwhy
    oh my God!! I will keep that in mind. What are we going to do. I trained my first semester in a hospital that was filthy!!! I mean I was afraid to touch the door handles. My God, I know there was something growing in the return supply room. I was SCARED!!!! to death. I had to protect myself. :uhoh21:
  10. by   nursemarion
    Hospitals are filthy places- filled with sick people. Yuck!

    But seriously, I think the basic precautions we are taught to follow will serve us well. We need a public service announcement about coughing technique- something with a snappy tune to help people remember. And, reminders to wash your hands. They need to jump on this now, while they can still make an impact. They are afraid to make people panic.

    In Japan they have fashionable "Hello Kitty" masks for the public to buy.... It is very accepted there to wear a mask if you are ill.

    CDC- WHERE ARE YOU???
  11. by   doesanyoneknowwhy
    Now I am tired, since my last response I cleaned my whole apartment. My neighbor was laughing at me, he is a clean freak too. I bet I have a ton of those little hand sanitizers, I carry one everywhere I go. In clinicals the instructor would check to see if we had one, and if we didn't she would take points off our grade. Shew!!!! I have all kinds though. Then I bought a hugh bottle, and I just refill the little containers.
  12. by   RosesRN
    Quote from doesanyoneknowwhy
    Now I am tired, since my last response I cleaned my whole apartment. My neighbor was laughing at me, he is a clean freak too. I bet I have a ton of those little hand sanitizers, I carry one everywhere I go. In clinicals the instructor would check to see if we had one, and if we didn't she would take points off our grade. Shew!!!! I have all kinds though. Then I bought a hugh bottle, and I just refill the little containers.
    Hello doesanyoneknowwhy! Are you joking? If not, you are doing a good job of being aware and taking preventative measures, however I am worried that you stress about this so much! Stress can lead to reduced immunity. Have you looked into EFT videos on YouTube. They have helped reduce my anxiety, pain management (before laser hair removal) as well as getting rid of a headache. Maybe it will work for you. Good Luck.
  13. by   Katnip
    Are they sure every one of the HCWs were exposed through work? What about from a fellow co-worker? You don't typically wear masks while in the break room. Or the store, and your kid's school. HCWs are people out in the population just like everyone else.
  14. by   Beverage
    I had my first H1N1 pt last week who was exposed on a cruise. Her BF refused to wear mask or gown. She had no flu symptoms, was admitted for COPD exacerbation/CHF.

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