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Hygienist with a cold sore

In our office we reschedule patients with active lesions. Recently my office manager asked me if it’s okay for me to see patients if I have an active lesion? I don’t currently have them, but I do get them every once in a blue moon. I can’t find literature on a clinician with an active lesion, but as long as I wear an ASTM Level 3 mask, I should be safe to see patients, right?



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1 Answer

Great question! The CDC states a clinician with active orofacial herpes should “evaluate need to restrict from care of patients at high risk.” Here’s the CDC link:
https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/PDF/rr/rr5217.pdf (page 8)
 
So basically I read that as, if you have an active lesion, its not recommended to treat any patients with a compromised immune system. This could be geriatric patients, pedo patients, anyone taking psoriasis meds or immune inhibitors for autoimmune diseases, things like this. I hope this helps a bit!

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