Risk management of febrile respiratory illness in Emergency Departments

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Febrile Respiratory Illness (FRI) is defined as a new or worsening episode of either cough or shortness of breath, presenting with fever (temperature 38°C or higher) or chills in the previous 24 hours. Some FRI could cause large outbreaks of potentially life-threatening diseases (multi- or extensively drug resistant MTB, SARS, pandemic influenza) if not adequately controlled. Emergency Departments (EDs) are preferential sites of disease transmission because of the presence of both infectious and susceptible patients in the same space, the lack of rapid isolation of infectious patients, and the frequent and close contacts among patients and HCWs often not protected by PPE. The management of risk of FRI transmission is thus extremely important in EDs, where all procedures of infection control should be in place and continually monitored and assessed. In this article the main procedures for the management of risk of FRI transmission in EDs are described and discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-173
Number of pages9
JournalNew Microbiologica
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2008


  • Emergency department
  • Isolation precautions
  • Respiratory hygiene
  • Respiratory infections

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)


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