It’s flu season. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) conducts research on protecting health care providers and other workers from infectious diseases including influenza. A significant portion of our research deals with understanding how the influenza virus is transmitted. Influenza is known to be transmitted through respiratory secretions containing the virus.
As we enter another influenza season, one question continues to vex medical and public health professionals: How do you stop people from catching the flu? The best way to prevent the flu is by getting an influenza vaccine every year. However, in the event of a large-scale influenza outbreak of a new virus strain or a pandemic, when influenza vaccine may not be promptly available, we will see tremendous demands on the health care system and its workers.