Workers in the health care and retail industries have the highest rates of respiratory infections compared to the rest of the workforce, according to a new study published in Occupational Health & Safety.
Researchers at Columbia University, the University of Maryland and University of Michigan analyzed data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to determine the top 25 occupations in terms of their rates of workplace infections.
The study found that the highest paying occupations were those in the healthcare, construction, and administrative sectors.
The top ten occupations with the highest infections were: nurse anesthetist, social worker, dental hygienist, and social worker assistant.
The next highest earning occupations were construction and maintenance worker, construction and material recovery worker, nurse anerys specialist, dental assistant, nurse assistant, and nurse technician.
The bottom 10 most common respiratory infections in the industry were: bronchitis, dysentery, influenza, pneumonia, and bronchospasm.
The study found the highest respiratory infections were reported by women.
Women were also the top two occupational groups with the lowest rates of infection in the U.S. The CDC reports that women account for over 10% of the total U.K. population, and more than a quarter of all respiratory infections reported in the United Kingdom.