Dentists Should Worry About Swine Flu, Too

On Sunday, April 26, Janet Napolitano, Secretary of the Department Homeland Security, declared a public health emergency in the US due to the growing threat of swine flu.

Though only 40 cases have been confirmed in the US so far, officials expect to see more infections.

The virus has already hit Mexico. Part of what makes swine influenza more frightening than other flu viruses is that it has killed otherwise healthy young people.


Typical flu symptoms: cough, sneeze, sore throat, head and body aches. Be extra-vigilant in looking for these symptoms in yourself, family members, and patients.


No direct contact with pigs required. Though swine flu originates in pigs, it can sometimes cross the species barrier and infect a person. Once infected, the person can spread the virus by human-to-human contact.

What if I might be infected?

Don’t go to work! You owe it to the people around you. It is so important to keep those who are sick away from those who are healthy that in Mexico, the Catholic Church actually cancelled Sunday Mass.

What if a patient might be infected?

Send them home! If a patient is coughing or sneezing in the waiting room, you might offer to reschedule their appointment at no charge rather than expose yourself and your team to the risk of infection.

Participate in our survey:
Has your dental practice made any changes as a result of the swine flu threat?

Read the CDC’s advice on handling Swine Flu


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