Preventing Herpes Zoster Infection in Staff and Patients

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Here are some ways to prevent herpes zoster infection for both staff and patients in the hospital or any other workplace.

Staff

• The staff that has localized shingles must cover lesions and shouldn’t care for patients with high risk until the lesions of their skin have become crusted and dry.

• The staff that has disseminated shingles, as well as immunocompromised staff that has shingles, must be excluded in the course of their illness.

herpesstaff

Patients

Patients that have localized shingles must care for utilizing standard precautions until every lesion is crusted:

• The only staff that is immune must care for these patients.

• Prospective or current roommates must be immune.

• Gloves must be worn when handling infectious material as well as during direct care of the patient.

• Clean gloves must be utilized before touching nonintact skin and mucous membranes.

• Gloves must be changed between procedures and tasks on the same patient following contact with any material that could contain a high virus concentration. Gloves must be removed promptly after use, as well as before handling environmental surfaces and non-contaminated materials.

• Hand washing is essential after handling the patient as well as before handling another patient or with environmental surfaces and non-contaminated items, whether gloves were utilized or not.

• Masks, eye protection, and gowns must be worn during patient care activities and procedures because of the likelihood of generating blood splashes, bodily fluids, excretions, or secretions.

• Used linen and used patient care tools must be handled in a way that prevents mucous membrane and skin exposure and clothing contamination.