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Raising the Bar in Rehab

H1N1 Virus

Published November 5, 2009 10:19 AM by
Well, I hate to jump on the media wagon with more commentary about the H1N1 flu virus, but I'm wondering how other health care systems are tackling this nation-wide problem. 

I got the H1N1 flu shot today at work, but many of my coworkers are declining to have a flu shot.  Mostly, they haven't gotten the flu in previous seasons and don't feel any increased risk with the H1N1.  Some are afraid of needles.  Several cannot take the nasal mist version of the vaccine because they work with transplant patients.

I thought we were taking every precaution to isolate patients who may be carriers of this flu strain and protecting other patients from possible contamination.  We wear masks, eyewear, gloves and a gown with every isolated patient. 

However, a family friend of mine was admitted to a hospital in Canada.  At that hospital, every patient is allowed only one visitor, and that visitor must document their temperature upon arrival and departure from the hospital and must also demonstrate hand sterilization before entering the hospital premises.  These rules were established to protect everyone from possible H1N1. 

What do you think?  Is the H1N1 flu a media frenzy?  Should we be more conservative with patient visitors? Are you getting a H1N1 flu shot?


The approach is very different here in the UK than in New York, where I last worked. Just before I left, the DOH was mandating that all healthcare workers receive H1N1 vaccination. The ACLU and unions screamed, loudly. That has since been reversed. Here in the UK there are billboards everywhere stating "Got flu? Stay home!" Which in smaller type reviews the signs and symptoms of flu. Due to the greater generosity of time off here ( I just started and I have 35 days off and up to 1 month paid sick time), I can see people complying with staying home. There just isn't a lot of hysteria here.

Will that happen in the US? How often have you gone to work or school when although you were just starting to feel ill, were probably at the most contagious stage of infection?

I got my shot for seasonal flu just last week. We'll see if the H1N1 is even offered to me.

Dean Metz November 8, 2009 11:32 AM

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