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Swine flu information

 

PHOENIX (April 29, 2009) -- John Hensing, MD, executive vice president and chief medical officer, offers information about swine flu and the prevention of its spread.

John Hensing on swine flu

Complete transcript of interview with John Hensing, MD, Banner Health executive vice president and chief medical officer


Image:  Bill Byron,  Senior Director
 Public Relations and On-Line Services
 Banner Health

Audio:  “Dr. Hensing, thanks for being with us to help us get a better understanding of the swine flu situation.  I’d like to start off, though, with a question, a very simple question I guess is: what is swine flu?”

Super:  John Hensing, MD
Executive Vice President, Chief Medical Officer
Banner Health

Image:  John Hensing on-camera, speaking.

Audio:  “Swine flu is a variant of influenza virus.  The challenge with it is that it is a virus for which we do not typically have an immunity…”

Image:  Reaction shot of Bill Byron, nodding.

Dr. Hensing:  “…a natural immunity.

Image:  Dr. Hensing on-camera, speaking.

Audio:  “And the vaccine that we’ve used for – influenza vaccine – does not protect us against swine flu.”

Image:  Bill Byron.

Audio:  “What are the symptoms of swine flu, Dr. Hensing?”

Dr. Hensing:  “Symptoms of swine flu are very much like any other…”

Image:  Dr. Hensing on-camera, speaking.

Audio:  “… influenza illness.  They are: muscle aches, fever is a common symptom, sore throat, cough, runny nose, any respiratory type symptom like that.”

Image:  Bill Byron, speaking.

Audio:  “Are swine flu symptoms…are they similar to the regular flu or are they more intense?”

Image:  Dr. Hensing on-camera, speaking.

Audio:  “Like any other influenza, it can be highly variable.  Some patients are very sick, indeed.”

Image:  Bill Byron on-camera, speaking.

Audio:  “If an employee is experiencing symptoms, what should they do?”

Image:  Dr. Hensing on-camera, speaking.

Audio:  “If they’re at home, they should stay at home.  If they’re at work, they should go home.  And my suggestion would be, if they need to see a physician, either occupational health or contact their personal physician.”

Image:  Bill Byron on-camera, speaking.

Audio:  “What kind of general precautions should clinicians take?”

Image:  Dr. Hensing on-camera, speaking.

Audio:  “If patients are presenting with flu-like symptoms, we should be pursuing regular, personal protective equipment activities that are recommended by the Centers for Disease Control.  And those would include very frequent hand washing. I think if you’re interacting with a patient with flu-like symptoms, you should at the very least be wearing a mask to protect yourself and those patients should have masks on as well.  The illness is spread through droplets in the air.  If you’re within several feet of those patients, you should be pursuing those kinds of personal protective equipment strategies

Image:  Bill Byron on-camera, speaking.

Audio:  “It seems like a simple thing but why is washing hands important?”

Image:  Dr. Hensing on-camera, speaking.

Audio:  “It is very important to be washing your hands.  And I would be washing my hands before I would interact with a patient and immediately afterwards.  And it could even be an alcohol-based – one of these hand wash devices.  It doesn’t really require soap and water

Image:  Bill Byron on-camera, speaking. 

Audio:  “Do the levels of personal protection equipment – do they change depending on the situation with this?”

Image:  Dr. Hensing on-camera, speaking.

Audio:  “Right now, our recommendations are, are they’re consistent with the CDC recommendations, if we’re dealing with a patient with a laboratory confirmed case of swine flu, our workers should be, in fact pursuing even more aggressive protective devices including special masks…”

Image:  Reaction shot of Bill Byron, nodding.

Dr. Hensing:  “… that are designed for this and…”

Image:  Dr. Hensing on-camera, speaking.

Audio:  “… the wearing of gloves.”

Image:  Bill Byron on-camera, speaking. 

Audio:  “Dr. Hensing, as the Chief Medical Officer of Banner Health, what can you tell employees about Banner’s commitment to their safety?”

Image:  Dr. Hensing on-camera, speaking.

Audio:  “We clearly are very interested in protecting our workers when they interact with these patients and we’re going to want to be putting out additional communications as information becomes more available to us about specific recommendations in managing these patients, managing themselves, and protecting them and their families.”

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