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Pandemic Influenza and Farmworkers: The Effects of Employment, Social, and Economic Factors

Andrea L. Steege; Sherry Baron; Shelley Davis; Judith Torres-Kilgore; Marie Haring Sweeney

National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)

October 1, 2009

Employment, social, and economic factors have the potential to affect the magnitude of an influenza pandemic among farmworkers. Prevention efforts targeted toward livestock farmworkers, including increased access to seasonal influenza vaccine, risk reduction training, various forms of personal protection, and workplace sanitation, are needed. Crop and livestock farmworkers are at increased risk of exposure to influenza A viruses because of limited resources, substandard housing, immigration status, communication and cultural barriers, and discrimination. Recommendations were gathered from migrant clinicians, farmworker advocates, state and federal government agencies, industry stakeholders, and researchers to overcome these barriers, including surveillance of livestock farmworkers, inclusion of farmworker service organizations in planning efforts, and separation of immigration enforcement from emergency assistanc