Safety

NIOSH following worker hazards to H1N1

OSHA Healthcare Connection, October 27, 2009

The deaths of five nurses have been attributed to 2009 H1N1 influenza, and NIOSH is intently following the prevalence of serious H1N1 illness and fatalities among all healthcare personnel.

NIOSH’s recently-posted Risk of Serious Illness Among Healthcare Personnel Associated With 2009 H1N1 Influenza Web page gives advice on what protection workers should observe, especially those with underlying illness such as asthma, diabetes, or neuromuscular disease. “Of particular concern to the healthcare workforce, which is largely female, is the fact that pregnant women are among those groups considered to be at higher risk of severe infection from 2009 H1N1,” says NIOSH.

Because there is only limited occupational data from healthcare surveillance systems, NIOSH is encouraging members of the public to provide information regarding cases of serious 2009 H1N1 illness, hospitalization, or fatality among healthcare personnel. Email NIOSH at nioshh1n1data@cdc.gov and provide contact information.

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