Use CDC recommendations to limit flu exposure

Here are key recommendations from the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance for preventing and controlling influenza in health care facilities:

• Hang signs at the ED entrance instructing patients and visitors to inform health care personnel of symptoms of a respiratory infection when they first register for care.

• Instruct patients to practice Respiratory Hygiene/Cough Etiquette by covering the nose/mouth when coughing or sneezing; using tissues to contain respiratory secretions and disposing of them in the nearest waste receptacle after use; and washing hands with nonantimicrobial soap and water, alcohol-based hand rub, or antiseptic hand wash.

• Have tissues on hand for patients to use, with no-touch receptacles for used tissue disposal.

• Provide staff and patients with conveniently located dispensers of alcohol-based hand rub.

• Offer masks to patients who are coughing. Encourage coughing persons to sit at least 3 feet away from others in waiting rooms.