Work in an environment at high risk for infection?

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Question from Michaela: Can I get some advice? Should I continue working before, and for that matter, during and after treatment at my job? I am working in the CL3 environment: avian influenza and other animal diseases.
Answers - Ruth Oratz, M.D., F.A.C.P. It sounds as if you are in an environment where you might be exposed to some rather serious infections. You did not specify what treatment you're taking, but it sounds like it might be chemotherapy or other treatments that might increase your susceptibility to infection. There are some precautions that could be taken, and some medication that could be used to help maintain the integrity of your immune system during treatment, and you should discuss this with your oncologist. You should also review the general precautions in your workplace that would protect you and other employees from contracting a serious contagious disease. There should be OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) and other federal workplace regulations about protecting employees who are working with infectious agents.

The Ask-the-Expert Online Conference called Working During Treatment featured Barbara Hoffman, J.D., Irene Card, and moderator Ruth Oratz, M.D., F.A.C.P. answering your questions about the legal, financial, physical, and emotional aspects of working during breast cancer treatment.

Editor's Note: This conference took place in September 2007.

The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.

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