Whooping cough is mainly spread by inhaling aerosolised droplets of respiratory secretions to people nearby (within about 1 metre) in the first 3 weeks of illness.
You never quite know which coughing patient entering your surgery could be infectious. Here are
few tips to help you reduce the risk of spreading whooping cough to staff and other patients:
- Encourage patients with respiratory symptoms to wear a surgical mask and to sit apart from others in the waiting room. Place signage and surgical masks at the surgery entrance.
- Provide a tissues, rubbish bin and alcohol based hand rub in the waiting room and in all consulting rooms.
- Display signage on hand hygiene and respiratory hygiene around the surgery and in the waiting room.
- When a new patient comes into the surgery with a cough, politely ask them to sit separately from other patients without a cough and not sit near pregnant women or babies. It may be possible to limit the time a coughing person is waiting in shared areas (for example, seeing coughing patients as soon as possible).