What are the CDC recommendations for controlling the spread of H1N1 influenza (swine flu) in healthcare settings?

Updated: Apr 09, 2019
  • Author: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD; Chief Editor: Russell W Steele, MD  more...
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The CDC has issued interim recommendations for controlling the spread of H1N1 influenza in health care settings. [44]  Recommended measures for care of patients with suspected or confirmed H1N1 influenza include the following:

  • Place patients in a single-patient room with the door kept closed. An airborne-infection isolation room with negative-pressure air handling can be used, if available. Air can be exhausted directly outside or can be recirculated after filtration by a high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter.

  • Suctioning, bronchoscopy, or intubation should be performed in a procedure room with negative-pressure air handling.

  • Patients should wear a surgical mask when outside their room.

  • Encourage patients to wash their hands frequently and to follow respiratory hygiene practices. Cups and other utensils used by the ill person should be washed with soap and water before use by other persons.

  • Standard, droplet, and contact precautions should be used for all patient care activities and maintained for 7 days after illness onset or until symptoms have resolved.

  • Health care personnel should wash their hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer immediately after removing gloves and other equipment and after any contact with respiratory secretions.

  • Personnel providing care to or collecting clinical specimens from patients should wear disposable nonsterile gloves, gowns, and eye protection (eg, goggles) to prevent conjunctival exposure.

  • As per previous recommendations regarding mask and respirator use during influenza pandemics, personnel engaged in aerosol-generating activities (eg, collection of clinical specimens, endotracheal intubation, nebulizer treatment, bronchoscopy) and/or resuscitation involving emergency intubation or cardiac pulmonary resuscitation should wear a fit-tested disposable N95 respirator.

  • Pending clarification of transmission patterns for the 2009 H1N1 influenza A (swine flu) virus, personnel providing direct patient care for suspected or confirmed cases should wear a fit-tested disposable N95 respirator when entering the patient's room.

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