Non-pharmaceutical measures for pandemic influenza in non-healthcare settings: effects are uncertain

Added May 18, 2020

Citation: Xiao J, Shiu EY, Gao H, et al. Nonpharmaceutical Measures for Pandemic Influenza in Nonhealthcare Settings: Personal Protective and Environmental Measures. Emerging Infectious Diseases 2020; 26(5): 967-975

What is this? Nonpharmaceutical measures, such as personal protective equipment are used to limit the transmission of respiratory viruses, such as COVID-19 and influenza, in non-healthcare settings as well as in healthcare settings.

In this systematic review, the authors searched for studies of the effects of non-pharmaceutical measures for reducing influenza transmission in community settings. They did not restrict their searches by language of publication and did the search in August 2018. They included studies on hand hygiene (7 randomized trials), face masks (7 randomized trials) or both (6 randomized trials), and surface/object cleaning (2 randomized trials and one observational study).

What was found: The studies included in this review did not provide evidence of a major effect of hand hygiene measures on laboratory-confirmed influenza transmission.

The studies included in this review did not provide evidence that surgical-type face masks are effective in reducing laboratory-confirmed influenza transmission, either when worn by infected persons or by persons in the general community.

The studies included in this review did not provide evidence that surface or object cleaning affects influenza rates.

There were no identified studies of respiratory etiquette interventions, so it is uncertain if this reduces the risk of influenza transmission.


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