With widespread concern about the H1N1 influenza and new cases occurring nationwide, including Minnesota, it is important that everyone remain vigilant and follow basic disease prevention measures. A number of national web sites have excellent information available for health care providers (see sidebar list). The Minnesota Department of Health also has helpful resources, including confirmed and probable cases in Minnesota. Members are encouraged to check these sites regularly for up-to-date information.
Symptoms of the flu include fever, chills, body aches, fatigue, runny nose, sore throat, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea. The infection can be passed beginning one day before symptoms develop up to seven days or more after becoming sick. There is no vaccine currently available to protect against it.
Simple everyday steps can aid in preventing the spread of H1N1 Influenza:
Dentists who practice in an area where swine flu cases have been confirmed or suspected should consider the possibility that patients who present for treatment with fever and respiratory illness, a history of recent travel to Mexico or contact with someone who has recently traveled to Mexico may have swine flu. These patients should be referred to their physicians for further testing.
The ADA notified its member dentists on Friday that the Federal Trade Commission has issued a 90-day delay in the enforcement of its Red Flags Rule to prevent and detect identity theft. As reported in a past MDA News & Views, this Rule was to go into effect on May 1, 2009. The delayed enforcement date is now August 1, 2009, which will allow providers more time to implement policies and procedures to comply with the regulation. The FTC announced the delay on FTC.GOV.
The ADA has also indicated that this three-month delay will give them more time to challenge the Rule’s applicability to small health care providers such as dentists. The ADA has been vigorously attempting to reverse the FTC’s regulation and believes that characterizing dentists as “creditors” in this context is incorrect. The ADA has been successful in convincing some members of Congress of this opinion and will keep dentists apprised if more developments occur with this ruling.