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With more than 3,000 reported cases of the swine flu (H1N1 virus) appearing in 45 states, all health care providers have to be alert and aware of possible swine flu infection in their practice, and dentists are no exception.
The ADA has put together a web page with advice for dentists on how to deal with swine flu in their practice, echoing the advice of the CDC's Division of Oral Health. The recommendations include strong use of proper hand hygiene and cough etiquette, monitoring patients and staff for symptoms and conducting emergency dental care for infected patients in controlled environments.
Familiarity with the contact information for your local or state health department is also recommended.
According to a survey by The Wealthy Dentist, 12 percent of dentists say they have already made changes in response to the swine flu situation and 29 percent of dentists are considering doing so.
The survey found that not every dentist is worried about swine flu, some saying the problem is an overblown media creation, such as the Kansas dentist who told the news source, "I think it is a bogus threat, in line with SARS and any number of so-called possible pandemics."
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