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Hospital Workers to Wear Surgical Masks or Get Flu Shot

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(Sacramento, CA)
Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Most hospital workers get vaccinated for the flu, but not all.

San Joaquin County hospitals will make it mandatory for hospital workers to wear surgical masks if they haven't been vaccinated.

The San Joaquin County Public Health Department has directed hospitals to order workers who have not been vaccinated to start wearing surgical masks.

That order takes effect on Thursday and runs through the end of March.

County Health Officer Dr. Karen Furst says such a mandate usually results in more workers getting the vaccine....whether they be nurses or cleaning crews.

FURST:  "But it's important that we have very high rates of vaccination in health care workers in order to prevent the spread to the patients are in the hospital."

Outside the hospital, Dr. Furst said vaccinations are recommended for everyone who would be around an infant.

FURST: "The reason for that is infants cannot get a flu vaccination and you want to protect the infant by having everybody around them to get vaccinated."

People can spread the flu virus a day before symptoms are apparent.

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