On-farm agricultural workers who are 18 years or older, and who work with swine, turkeys, geese or ducks may be eligible for a nation-wide, web-based study on influenza virus issues. Conducted through the University of Florida, the study will monitor agricultural workers and their household members for influenza, paying particular attention to influenza infections that can be transmitted by both animals and humans.

“As this is a country-wide study,” notes organizers. “Study procedures will be conducted at your primary healthcare clinic. Identities of participants will remain completely confidential.”

Researchers at the Global Pathogens Laboratory, based in the University of Florida’s Emerging Pathogens Institute, will conduct the study, called the Prospective Study of U.S. Animal Agricultural Workers for Emerging Virus Infections.

Participation requires one visit to a local health-care provider (in your area) and self-collected nasal samples if participants become sick over the one-year course of the study. Compensation to participate is available.

The purpose of this research study is to determine if workers and their household contacts are more likely to be infected with influenza (the flu) carried by animals compared to persons who do not work with animals. Agricultural workers have intense occupational exposures to animals that may carry influenza (flu) viruses. We will prospectively examine these agricultural workers, such that we might better identify risk factors for influenza transmission to man associated with occupational animal production.

More information. You may also contact Whitney Baker, University of Florida Health Science Center at (352) 273-9569 or e-mail her at wsbaker@phhp.ufl.edu.

Source: University of Florida Health Science Center