Influenza infection control guidelines

On April 20, 2009 the CDC published Interim Guidance on Infection Control and Antiviral Recommendations for Patients with Confirmed or Suspected Swine Influenza. The guidelines are written for public health and hospital personnel. There is no specific mention of EMT or Paramedic field contact with patients with suspected or known respiratory illness from the Swine Influenza A (H1N1) virus.

EMS providers who encounter a patient with respiratory infection and or febrile illness should do the following:

  • Don appropriate PPE including a N-95 type respirator mask. If a mask is unavailable use a surgical mask. Also wear gloves, gown, and goggles.
  • Notify the receiving hospital during transport and request a negative pressure or isolation room.
  • Appropriately dispose of PPE in a biohazard bag after usage.
  • Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water or alcohol based handwash after patient contact is complete.

For the most up-to-date information on Swine Influenza visit the CDC Swine Flu Web site.

Direct questions about influenza, PPE, and other precautions to your local infection control officer, service director, and or medical control physician.

About the author

Greg Friese, MS, NRP, is Editor-in-Chief of He is an educator, author, paramedic, and marathon runner. Ask questions or submit tip ideas to Greg by emailing him at

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