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Clin Infect Dis. 2011 Jan 1;52 Suppl 1:S173-6. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciq034.

A model survey for assessing 2009 pandemic influenza A (H1N1) virus disease burden in the workplace.

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  • 1Division of Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia 30333, USA.


Emergence of 2009 pandemic influenza A (H1N1) (pH1N1) virus in 2009 raised concern about the potential impact of widespread or severe disease on the nation's workforce. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that employers develop flexible pandemic response plans. We used the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System's influenza module as a model for a brief workplace survey to ascertain the influenza-like illness (ILI) burden on epidemiology staff in Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Emergency Operations Center. Fifty-seven (78%) of 73 recipients completed the survey. Ten (18%) met the ILI case definition. The 10 respondent ILI cases missed 24 total work days, although none sought medical care. Eleven (14%) of 77 household contacts also had ILI, but no ILI case was hospitalized. This survey enabled us to rapidly obtain information about our workforce ILI burden and evaluate the potential need for additional resources because of employee absence.

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