Blog | Friday, June 9, 2017

Working while sick

A few days ago, I learned about visual abstracts, a great way to encapsulate the essence of a paper. You can read more about visual abstracts here. Here's my first attempt using a recent paper in the American Journal of Infection Control.
The paper tells us that hospitals can't just mandate influenza vaccine for their workers and think that they have done their job. Preventing the transmission of respiratory illnesses requires a more comprehensive approach that makes a real attempt at keeping sick healthcare workers at home. Of note, the rate of vaccination in the survey participants was 45%, and vaccine effectiveness that season was only 19%.

Bottom line: Influenza like illness (ILI) has many causes, influenza vaccine is modestly to moderately effective against three of those, and healthcare workers continue to place patients at risk by coming to work when sick with ILI.

Michael B. Edmond, MD, FACP, is a hospital epidemiologist in Iowa City, IA, with a focus on improving the quality and safety of health care, and sees patients in the inpatient and outpatient settings. This post originally appeared at the blog Controversies in Hospital Infection Prevention.