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September 3, 2019

Respiratory Protection of Health Care Personnel to Prevent Respiratory Viral Transmission

Author Affiliations
  • 1Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, Tennessee
  • 2Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis, St Louis, Missouri
JAMA. 2019;322(9):817-819. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.11644

Influenza and other respiratory viruses continue to cause patient morbidity and mortality, including health care utilization for outpatient visits and inpatient and intensive care unit care. Occupational health and infection-prevention programs partner to prevent these infections among health care personnel (HCP) and their patients through a multifaceted approach that includes comprehensive strategies to achieve high rates of influenza vaccination, rational sick leave and attendance policies that do not reward coming to work while ill (presenteeism), early identification and isolation of possibly infected patients, and appropriate use of personal protective equipment (PPE). While influenza still gets the most attention, these efforts also protect HCP from other respiratory infections.