A Florida nurse working to combat “a cesspool of funky flu” in the emergency room has gained widespread attention from a viral video on social media urging people to take precautions to avoid influenza.
Following a 12-hour night shift late last week in an emergency room in Northwest Florida, nurse Katherine Lockler offered some advice.
“Here are some ideas how to treat the flu at home — wash your stinking hands,” she said in the video, which has since been viewed more than 5 million times.
Lockler said she has been most concerned with what she has seen in the hospital.
“The biggest problem for me was seeing people come in to visit (the ER) and not only being exposed to this awful flu virus, but not taking the correct precautions to get themselves disinfected before going out in the world,” Lockler told the Pensacola News Journal.
Lockler posted the animated — and somewhat saucy — video Saturday, explaining to people how the flu is contracted and how to help keep it from spreading.
“If you’re not aware of how the flu is spread, the only way you can get it is through your eyes, your nose or your mouth,” said Lockler, from Milton, Fla.
She then demonstrated how to minimize the transmission of germs while sneezing, quipping, “Watch this — I’m going to teach you all a magic trick. It’s amazing.” She filmed herself fake sneezing into the inside of her elbow — a move that’s commonly recommended by health professionals and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
For those who missed it, Lockler did it again in “slow motion.”
Lockler also warned healthy people to avoid emergency rooms.
“It is a cesspool of flu — a cesspool of funky flu at the ER right now,” she said in the video, explaining how—hypothetically — players on a softball team should not come to the hospital to visit a sick or injured teammate. “Because guess what? You just got maybe 15 new vectors, or carriers of the flu, by them all walking in.”
“Please don’t bring your team in. Please don’t bring your healthy children — especially your newborn babies — into the emergency room,” she said. “If you don’t have what I call a true emergency, this would not be the time to come to the emergency room.”