Healthcare workers catching swine flu on the job

It's not surprising, given the ongoing problems healthcare providers face with infection control, but still worth noting: A new bulletin from the CDC says that some healthcare workers are picking up the H1N1 virus on the job.

Right now, the number is modest, with a known 81 U.S. healthcare workers having laboratory-confirmed swine flu. What worries authorities, however, is that about half seem to have gotten infected on the job, a stat that could have serious implications for the future of the pandemic. If the virus spreads further, and follows this pattern, it could disable enough healthcare workers to slow the health system down substantially.

To help address the spread of H1N1, the CDC recommends that potential swine flu patients be identified "at the front door" to allow hospital personnel to institute special infection precautions like masks, isolation and increased hand hygiene. It's also recommending that healthcare workers get Tamiflu in personnel who've been exposed to swine flu.

To learn more about this issue:
- read this Los Angeles Times article

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