14.03.2011

Environmental Assessment for the Presence of Influenza Viruses in Dental Practices

Health hazard evaluation (HHE) program investigators recently evaluated
concerns about transmission of 2009 pandemic influenza A (pH1N1) virus to staff
at a general dental practice and a pediatric dental practice. No pH1N1 was
found in the air or on surfaces at either practice, but seasonal flu virus was
found in the air at the pediatric practice during one visit. Although dental
staff did not come to work while ill, vaccination rates at both practices were
low for both seasonal and pH1N1.

HHE program investigators recommended that each office develop procedures for
tracking ill employees and excluding them from work and for screening patients
for flu symptoms before their visits or at the time of check-in. The report
also recommended that the practices encourage employees to get the seasonal flu
vaccine every year as part of a comprehensive influenza infection control
strategy.

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AplusA-online.de - Source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)