Guidelines for healthcare professionals for suspected cases of avian influenza
1. Put a mask on the patient (surgical is fine).
2. Get a thorough history (including travel history, occupation, other ill close contacts) and respiratory specimens (nasopharyngeal, throat swab, nasal wash).
3. Instruct the lab to save all specimens.
4. Do a rapid test for flu, if possible; otherwise, prep the specimens for overnight shipment to the Texas Department of State Health Services maintaining the cold chain.
5. Call the local, regional, or state health department or laboratory for assistance.
6. Determine all staff, visitors, guests, or others potentially exposed during clinic or emergency department triage.
7. Further intervention and/or evaluation would depend on the situation.