Healthcare workers as vectors of infectious diseases

  • R. HuttunenEmail author
  • J. Syrjänen


Nosocomial infections cause considerable morbidity and mortality. Healthcare workers (HCWs) may serve as vectors of many infectious diseases, many of which are not often primarily considered as healthcare-associated. The probability of pathogen transmission to patients depends on several factors, such as the characteristics of a pathogen, HCW and patient. Pathogens with high transmission potential from HCWs to patients include norovirus, respiratory infections, measles and influenza. In contrast, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and viral hepatitis are unlikely to be transferred. The prevention of HCW-associated transmission of pathogens include systematic vaccinations towards preventable diseases, continuous education, hand hygiene surveillance, active feedback and adequate staff resources.


Influenza Respiratory Syncytial Virus Measle Pertussis Sick Leave 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This work was supported by a grant from the Medical Research Fund of Tampere University Hospital. The authors’ work was independent of the funder (the funding source had no involvement).

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Internal MedicineTampere University HospitalTampereFinland
  2. 2.University of Tampere Medical SchoolUniversity of TampereTampereFinland

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