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PPE recommended for healthcare workers

Respiratory personal protective equipment should be worn by healthcare workers to protect against the spread of swine flu, according to a leading US health body.

N95 respirators have been recommended by the US Institute of Medicine (IOM) as a means of preventing transmission via airborne inhalation in a new report.

These respiratory protection devices help to filter out 95 to 99 per cent of relevant particles, according to research cited by the report.

The report recommends that the N95 respirators are used by healthcare workers that come into close contact with individuals with the nH1N1 influenza virus, as well as those displaying influenza-like illness symptoms.

IOM was tasked with recommending PPE by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, including considering safety gloves, eye protection and other equipment.

Last month, the World Health Organization warned countries in the northern hemisphere to prepare for a second wave of pandemic flu spread.

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