Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from BMC Proceedings and BioMed Central.

This article is part of the supplement: International Conference on Prevention & Infection Control (ICPIC 2011)

Open Access Poster presentation

The consumption of alcohol-based handrub during the 2009 influenza pandemic

A Iten1*, N Vernaz2, M Descombes1, C Posfay Barbe3, B Martinez De Tejeda Weber4, L Kaiser5 and D Pittet1

  • * Corresponding author: A Iten

Author Affiliations

1 Infection Control Program, University of Genva Hospitals, Geneva, Switzerland

2 Pharmacy, University of Genva Hospitals, Geneva, Switzerland

3 Department of Pediatrics, University of Genva Hospitals, Geneva, Switzerland

4 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Genva Hospitals, Geneva, Switzerland

5 Central Laboratory of Virology, University of Genva Hospitals, Geneva, Switzerland

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Proceedings 2011, 5(Suppl 6):P105  doi:10.1186/1753-6561-5-S6-P105

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1753-6561/5/S6/P105


Published:29 June 2011

© 2011 Iten et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Introduction / objectives

When the influenza A (H1N1) 2009 pandemic began, the Federal Office of Public Health released and regularly updated recommendations for the Swiss population and healthcare workers. At the University of Geneva Hospitals, the recommendations for patients, staff and visitors were adjusted according to the local epidemiology, hand hygiene and mask practices were reinforced, and screening of the cases and the prescription of the antiviral treatment were performed as indicated.

Methods

Using interventional time-series analyses, we performed a transfer model with aggregated data on alcohol-based handrub (ABHR) in litres at HUG and the number of confirmed cases of influenza A (H1N1) in Switzerland as an indicator to evaluate the adherence to the recommendations from April 2009 to January 2010 on a weekly basis.

Results

A statistically significant temporal relationship was found between the ABHR consumption and the number of H1N1 cases. Each additional H1N1 case was preceded by an increase of 0.51 ABHR liters at HUG (P<0.0001) on week earlier. The R2 coefficient was 96% expressing how close the observed values are to the fitted values generated by the estimated model.

Conclusion

This study shows that modelling is a useful tool, complementing traditional epidemiologic approaches, can inform policy makers about the adherence to recommendations and could be used as an indicator in the follow-up of future influenza epidemics.

Disclosure of interest

None declared.