Swine Flu

ORGIN: Moldex Technical Services Department
DATE: April 27, 2009
REVIEWED: August 2009


A pandemic of swine influenza A virus infection (swine flu) also known as H1N1 has been declared and has spread throughout the world.  There is a reasonable possibility that it will reemerge in North America and could possibly be more virulent than the initial wave which has occurred. Symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headaches, chills and fatigue. Additionally, there have been some reports of diarrhea and vomiting. The symptoms can vary from mild to severe, and in severe cases can result in pneumonia, respiratory failure and possibly death.

Although it is not known if and how serious the next wave of H1N1 will be, many companies and government agencies are preparing for the worst case scenario and are stockpiling necessary supplies including respirators.

The CDC has been updating their recommendations and will continue to do so as necessary. Since April 24, 2009 the CDC has issued numerous specific recommendations for caregivers, laboratory workers, caring for a sick person in your home and community settings where swine flu has been detected.

Respiratory Protection

Generally for the Public, the CDC recommends when in crowded settings or close contact with others in areas where transmission of swine influenza A (H1N1) virus has been confirmed, the use of facemasks (surgical type mask cleared by the FDA) or respirators (approved by NIOSH) should be considered.

In Healthcare settings, CDC recommends when personnel are engaged in aerosol generating activities (e.g., collection of clinical specimens, endotracheal intubation, nebulizer treatment, bronchoscope and resuscitation involving emergency intubation or cardiac pulmonary resuscitation) for suspected or confirmed swine flu cases the caregiver should wear a fit-tested disposable N95 respirator. Additionally, CDC recommends personnel providing direct patient care for suspected or confirmed swine flu cases should wear a fit-tested disposable N95 respirator when entering the patient room.

For specific information refer to https://www.cdc.gov/flu/swineflu/index.htm for the most up to date information on the swine flu.

Where NIOSH certified respirators are used, this should be in conjunction with a comprehensive respiratory protection program in compliance with Occupational Safety and Health Regulations 29 CFR 1910.134 as a minimum. This includes but is not limited to medical evaluation, training and fit testing.

: The information contained in this Tech Brief is dated and was accurate to the best of Moldex’s knowledge, on the date above. It is not meant to be comprehensive, nor is it intended to be used in place of the warning/use instructions that accompany Moldex respirators. Outside of the USA, check with all applicable and local government regulations.

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