Doctors work to keep flu from spreading in their offices

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Greenville, N.C. (WNCT)- Healthcare providers aren’t just encouraging the flu shot, they’re also taking extra steps to stop the virus from spreading in their offices.

With flu season in full swing, many people are flocking to doctor offices. That means there are many sick people coming together in one room. Doctors and nurses are taking extra precautions including giving out face masks to make sure the disease is not being spread throughout waiting rooms.

“As patients come in if they look acutely ill or present a state they feel like they have the flu or a fever, our receptionist has a large supply of masks and hand sanitizer,” said Whit Covington, MSN, FNP at Greenville Family Doctors.

The mask is applied to the patient immediately. The patient is then often taken straight to a room to isolate them from the rest of the population that may just be there for follow up visits.

“If they are left in the regular waiting area with coughing and sneezing frequently they can spread the influenza virus,” said Covington.

Nurses will also wear masks and gloves to tend to the patients. With the flu going around, their job doesn’t stop there.

“If the patient is tested positive for the flu, after the patient has left then the rooms are cleaned down,” said Pamela Tripp, CMA at Greenville Family Doctors.

“We use a large amount of Lysol to wipe down all flat surfaces, the patient table, etc.,” said Covington, and we keep that room closed for at least an hour.”

While you shouldn’t avoid your doctor office completely, patients need to still be aware of their surroundings. Carrying hand sanitizer and sitting away from other patients is always a good idea.

“It does make you nervous because you’re around it all the time and not knowing if you do come in contact with it,” said Tripp.

Nurses do say if you get handed a face mask while you are inside the office, do not take it off until you leave.

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