V1. Studies of the epidemiology of viral infections
Oral Abstract Submission
Janet A. Englund, MD
Seattle Children's Hospital/Univ. of Washington
Disclosure: AstraZeneca: Grant/Research Support
Chimerix: Grant/Research Support
GlaxoSmithKline: Consultant, Grant/Research Support
Meissa Vaccines: Consultant
Merck: Grant/Research Support
Novavax: Grant/Research Support
Sanofi Pasteur: Consultant
Michael Boeckh, MD PhD
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Disclosure: Ablynx: Consultant, Grant/Research Support
Ansun Biopharma: Consultant, Grant/Research Support
Astellas: Consultant, Grant/Research Support
Bavarian Nordic: Consultant
Chimerix: Consultant, Grant/Research Support
Gilead: Consultant, Grant/Research Support
Janssen: Consultant, Grant/Research Support
Lophius: Grant/Research Support
Merck: Consultant, Grant/Research Support
Shire: Consultant, Grant/Research Support
Vir Bio: Consultant, Grant/Research Support
Influenza-like illnesses are estimated to cause 500,000 hospitalizations and 50,000 deaths each year in the United States. The high-contact environment of a college campus makes students, faculty, and staff especially prone to respiratory illness, but the impact of these illnesses on academic and work performance is not well understood.
Between January 14 and April 3, 2019, the Seattle Flu Study enrolled participants with respiratory symptoms throughout the Seattle metropolitan area, including the University of Washington’s main campus. Individuals with at least two self-reported respiratory symptoms in the previous 7 days were eligible to enroll. Participants completed a questionnaire with questions about their medical history, current illness episode, and other behavioral characteristics; a corresponding mid-nasal swab was also collected. Influenza-like illness (ILI) was defined as self-reported fever with a cough and/or sore throat. Laboratory results are pending. Logistic regression was used to assess the association between ILI and work and academic outcomes, including missing class, missing work, performing poorly on an assignment or exam, and experiencing high interference on daily life.
Results : A total of 497 participants enrolled at the University of Washington. Participants had a median age of 22, and 61% were female. Of those with self-reported ILI, 27% reported smoking, 22% had traveled out of state, and 14% had travelled internationally in the month before enrollment. These characteristics did not differ between those with ILI and those with non-ILI. Having symptoms of ILI was associated with reports of missing work (OR 2.9; 95% CI:1.9, 4.5), missing class (OR 3.4; 95% CI: 2.3, 5.2), performing poorly on assignments and exams (OR 1.8; 95% CI:1.2, 2.6), and having high interference with daily life (OR 6.0; 95% CI: 3.8, 9.5) as compared to individuals with a non-ILI illness. These impacts were strongest during January and February.
A high prevalence of ILI was observed on campus. These symptoms were found to have a substantial impact on academic and occupational productivity. This demonstrates the need for greater illness prevention efforts on college campuses during influenza season.