Protecting residential care facilities from pandemic influenza.

Department of Biostatistics, School of Public Health, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1772, USA.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (Impact Factor: 9.81). 07/2008; 105(30):10625-30. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0712014105
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT It is widely believed that protecting health care facilities against outbreaks of pandemic influenza requires pharmaceutical resources such as antivirals and vaccines. However, early in a pandemic, vaccines will not likely be available and antivirals will probably be of limited supply. The containment of pandemic influenza within acute-care hospitals anywhere is problematic because of open connections with communities. However, other health care institutions, especially those providing care for the disabled, can potentially control community access. We modeled a residential care facility by using a stochastic compartmental model to address the question of whether conditions exist under which nonpharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) alone might prevent the introduction of a pandemic virus. The model projected that with currently recommended staff-visitor interactions and social distancing practices, virus introductions are inevitable in all pandemics, accompanied by rapid internal propagation. The model identified staff reentry as the critical pathway of contagion, and provided estimates of the reduction in risk required to minimize the probability of a virus introduction. By using information on latency for historical and candidate pandemic viruses, we developed NPIs that simulated notions of protective isolation for staff away from the facility that reduced the probability of bringing the pandemic infection back to the facility to levels providing protection over a large range of projected pandemic severities. The proposed form of protective isolation was evaluated for social plausibility by collaborators who operate residential facilities. It appears unavoidable that NPI combinations effective against pandemics more severe than mild imply social disruption that increases with severity.

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    ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVES: To identify characteristics of residential care facilities (RCFs) associated with having a pandemic influenza plan. DESIGN: Nationally representative, cross-sectional survey. SETTING: RCFs in the United States. PARTICIPANTS: Participating facilities in the 2010 National Survey of RCFs (N = 2,294), representing 31,030 assisted living facilities and personal care homes. MEASUREMENTS: Facility-level characteristics associated with a pandemic influenza plan, including general organization descriptors, staffing, resident services, and immunization practices. RESULTS: Forty-five percent (95% confidence interval (CI) = 43-47%) had a pandemic plan, 14% (95% CI = 13-16%) had a plan in preparation, and 41% (95% CI = 38-43%) had no plan. In the multivariable model, organization characteristics, staffing, and immunization practices were independently associated with the presence of a pandemic preparedness plan. Organization characteristics were larger size (extra large, OR = 3.27, 95% CI = 1.96-5.46; large, OR = 2.60, 95% CI = 1.81-3.75; medium, OR = 1.66, 95% CI = 1.21-2.27 vs small), not-for-profit status (OR = 1.65, 95% CI = 1.31-2.09 vs for profit), and chain affiliation (OR = 1.65, 95% CI = 1.31-2.09 vs nonaffiliated). Staffing characteristics included number of registered nurse hours (<15 minutes, OR = 1.36, 95% CI = 1.07-1.74 vs no hours), any licensed practical nurse hours (OR = 1.47, 95% CI = 1.08-1.99 vs no hours), and at least 75 hours of required training for aides (OR = 1.34, 95% CI = 1.05-1.71 vs < 75 hours). RCFs with high staff influenza vaccination rates (81-100%, OR = 2.12, 95% CI = 1.273.53 vs 0% vaccinated) were also more likely to have a pandemic plan. CONCLUSION: A majority of RCFs lacked a pandemic influenza plan. These facilities were smaller, for-profit, non-chain-affiliated RCFs and had lower staff vaccination rates. These characteristics may help target facilities that need to develop plans to handle a pandemic, or other disasters.
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