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Volume 15, Number 1—January 2009

Dispatch

Personal Protective Equipment and Risk for Avian Influenza (H7N3)

Oliver Morgan1Comments to Author , Mirjam Kuhne, Pat Nair, Neville Q. Verlander, Richard Preece, Marianne McDougal, Maria Zambon, and Mark Reacher
Author affiliations: Health Protection Agency, Cambridge, UK (O. Morgan, P. Nair, M. Reacher); Health Protection Agency, London, UK (M. Kuhne, N.Q. Verlander, M. Zambon); Atos Origin, London (R. Preece); Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, London (M. McDougal)

Main Article

Table 1

Characteristics and preventive measures taken by all persons potentially exposed to influenza A virus A (H7N3)–infected materials

Characteristic Completed questionnaire 
(n = 103), no. (%)* Did not complete questionnaire
(n = 39), no. (%)†
Male gender
81 (79)
34 (87)
Oseltamivir prophylaxis
Yes 98 (95) 30 (77)
No 5 (5) 6 (15)
Unknown

3 (8)
Seasonal influenza vaccine
Received before outbreak 5 (5) 1 (3)
Received during outbreak 12 (12) 1 (3)
Received before and during outbreak 66 (64) 29 (74)
Not received 8 (8) 2 (5)
Unknown
12 (12)
6 (15)
Activities on infected premises‡ 65 (63) 22 (56)
Any activity with potentially high exposure§ 62 6
Catching poultry 39 4
Culling poultry 24 7
Inspecting or collecting biological/environmental samples 21 2
Loading dead poultry for transport 32 0
Disinfecting and cleaning
17
2
Activities off infected premises 38 (37) 12 (31)
Running incinerator 16 8
Transporting dead poultry 10 0
Testing biological/environmental samples 4 1
Other
8
3
Activities unknown
0
5 (13)
Use of personal protective equipment¶
Complete 56 (54)
Incomplete
47 (46)

Exposure to poultry during 6 mo before outbreak
Never 20 (19)
Occasional 34 (33)
Frequent 46 (45)
Unknown
3 (3)

Symptoms reported 7 d postexposure
Conjunctivitis only 0
Influenza-like symptoms only 27 (26)
Conjunctivitis and influenza-like symptoms
19 (18)

Influenza-like symptoms# 46 (45)
Body/muscle pain 23
Sore throat 22
Runny nose 16
Cough 15
Shortness of breath 8
Fever (subjective, not measured) 5

*Median age (range) 40 (15–64) y.
†Median age (range) 41 (19–74) y.
‡For the 39 persons who did not respond to the study questionnaire, we used activities recorded in the outbreak records. Some persons had >1 exposure on site.
§High exposure includes >1 of the following activities: entering poultry sheds, coming within 1 m of live poultry, handling live or dead poultry, contact with chicken litter or feathers, and handling eggs or egg products.
¶Complete use of personal protective equipment defined as always using gloves, coveralls, footwear, face-fitted N95 respirator, or other mask (unspecified), and goggles.
#Reported by the 27 patients with influenza-like symptoms only and the 19 with conjunctivitis and influenza-like symptoms.

Main Article

1Current affiliation: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

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