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Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, had fever and cough. What precautions to take to not expose patient to flu?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 1993
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My father has Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis. We were told a sickness like the flu or a cold could lead to a downward spiral in his health. My neice has a fever and cough, and my sister has been caring for her. My mother saw my niece yesterday and I am supposed to see my sister today. Right now my father is in the hospital so we are all wanting to visit with him. What precautions should we take in order to make sure we do not expose him?
Posted Tue, 8 May 2012 in Infections
Answered by Dr. Shainaz Arif Kaware 21 minutes later

Thanks for the query.

Pulmonary fibrosis is a condition where the lung has limited ability to expand due to inflammatory thickening of lining of lungs. I am sorry that your father is suffering from this illness at the same time I appreciate you and your family member’s intentions to take as much precautions to prevent any infection to your father.

Respiratory infections are usually transmitted airborne via droplets. It would be ideal to avoid any sick person from coming in close contact you’re your already sick father. A preventive mask may be used if feasible to avoid transfer of droplets to your father.

Most hospitals have disinfecting solutions kept at the bed side of a patient. The visitor needs to apply the disinfectant before and after touching your father. This will further enhance his protection as well as visitor’s protection.

Most hospitals provide inpatients prophylactic antibiotics to avoid unnecessary infections from reaching patients. I believe your father too may be covered with such antibiotics be more beneficial in preventing such minor infections. So do not worry. But you may contribute towards prevention by inhibiting the sick from visiting him, wearing a mask as well as disinfecting your hands before and after touching him.

Hope my answer is helpful to you. Please accept the answer if you do not have any further queries.

To his speedy recovery!!!.
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