The following infection control measures should be implemented at the first point of contact with a potentially infected person so as to prevent the transmission of all respiratory infections:-
1. Visual Alerts:- Post visual alerts at the entrance to outpatient facilities instructing patients and persons who accompany them of a respiratory infection when they first register for care so as to prevent the spread of germs from coughing.
2. Cough Etiquette:- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. Use in the nearest waste receptacle to dispose of the tissue after use. Perform hand hygiene (e.g., hand washing with non-antimicrobial soap and water, alcohol-based hand rub, or antiseptic handwash) after having contact with respiratory secretions and contaminated objects/materials. Provide tissues and no-touch receptacles for used tissue disposal. Provide conveniently located dispensers of alcohol-based hand rub; where sinks are available, ensure that supplies for hand washing (i.e., soap, disposable towels) are consistently available.
3. Masking and Separation of Persons with Respiratory Symptoms
Offer masks to persons who are coughing during periods of increased respiratory infection activity. Either procedure masks (i.e., with ear loops) or surgical masks (i.e., with ties) may be used to contain respiratory secretions. When space and chair availability permit, encourage coughing persons to sit at least three feet away from others in common waiting areas. Some facilities may find it logistically easier to institute this recommendation year-round.
4. Droplet Precautions
Advise healthcare personnel to wear a surgical or procedure mask for close contact.