Safety

Study to examine aerosol flu risk for healthcare workers

OSHA Healthcare Connection, January 8, 2008

With healthcare workers at greater risk to infection from influenza than the general population, a National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) research project is trying to gain a better understanding of the production and dissemination of aerosols-clouds of droplets produced by coughing or sneezing-that contain the influenza virus.

The announcement of the study, which appeared in the Federal Register, said "aerosol transmission of infectious diseases is of particular interest today because of increased concern over a possible global influenza pandemic."

Researchers will gather aerosol data from patients with flu-like symptoms, as well as determine the size and amount of airborne flu particles present in healthcare settings during flu season, according to NIOSH.

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