ADAA View Course

Influenza Facts and the Health Care Worker (AGD 148)

Presenter: Wilhemina Leeuw, MS, CDA


Your patient is sneezing and coughing. A coworker is complaining of feeling “dead tired”, has a headache, cough, and feels hot. Exactly how should dental offices deal with these situations? Public health leaders in most countries continue to launch full efforts educating people to recognize and control the spread of respiratory infections. Dental assistants play a vital role in strategies to keep respiratory illness out of the dental office.

Dental healthcare workers will undoubtedly be exposed to seasonal strains of influenza. Every dental team member must take necessary precautions to avoid illness, maintain a safe office environment for both the dental team and its patients, and keep current on new strains of influenza and other respiratory illnesses. Dental offices should implement a program for screening patients for aerosol transmitted diseases (ATD). Understanding the risks and how to deal with them can avoid panic, illness and even death.


Wilhemina R. Leeuw, MS, CDA, is a Clinical Assistant Professor with the Indiana University School of Dentistry, Division of Allied Dental Education, located in Fort Wayne, Indiana. She has been a DANB-Certified Dental Assistant since 1985. She worked in private practice over twelve years before beginning her teaching career. She received her Baccalaureate and Master degrees in Organizational Leadership and Supervision from Purdue University. She has authored for the American Dental Assistant’s Association and is currently serving as a CODA program site visitor. She is very active in her local and Indiana state dental assisting organizations. Her educational background includes dental assisting - both clinical and
office management.


Upon completion of this course the participant should be able to do the following:

• understand influenza epidemics and pandemics.
• know how influenza is transmitted.
• recognize signs and symptoms of influenza.
• take appropriate precautions against influenza exposure and transmission.
• screen patients for influenza and other transmissible respiratory infections.
• be aware of vaccinations and antiviral medications.


The ADAA has an obligation to disseminate knowledge in the field of dentistry.  Sponsorship of a continuing education program by the ADAA does not necessarily imply endorsement of a particular philosophy, product or technique.

The ADAA cautions participants taking this course on the hazards of using limited knowledge when integrating new techniques into their practices.

Credits earned upon completion of the course may be used to meet DANB’s Recertification Requirements.


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