A fed-up Florida nurse wants everyone to wise up about the flu, and has become an internet sensation in the process.
Katherine Lockler had just come off a grueling, 12-hour night shift in the emergency room and had clearly grown weary of the poor hygiene habits she observed among visitors to the E.R.
So she took to Facebook to deliver her message, bluntly telling viewers to "wash your stinking hands!"
“Please don't bring your healthy children in — especially your newborn babies — into the emergency room! There is a cesspool of funky flu at the E.R. right now,” Lockler said.
The nurse’s video has gone viral, with more than five million views. It may not have been her intention, but she is thrilled that her important message is getting out.
“It was a plea to protect you and others against this awful flu," she explained to Inside Edition.
Emergency rooms across the country have become Ground Zero locations in the deadly flu epidemic.
On Thursday night, Inside Edition correspondent Jim Moret’s mother-in-law was taken to a Los Angeles ER, where hospital workers are taking the health threat seriously.
“When you walk in, there's hand sanitizer and they give you a mask and gloves,” Moret said. “It's the first time I’ve been offered these when I walked in an ER.”
He also observed hospital personnel cleaning every surface.
Victor Castaman of hygiena, a food safety testing business, took Inside Edition to an emergency room in New York City to test for germs using his company’s microbe detection device to test Lockler’s claims about an ER being a cesspool of germs.
Anything above a rating of 200 is worrisome and the armrest of one chair registered at 699. The light switch in the bathroom registered at 569.
ER Dr. Armand Dorian says Nurse Lockler's concerns about emergency rooms are legitimate.
"The more people you bring, the chances of them getting sick is extremely high,” he said. “Don't bring people with problems or kids because the flu affects them more aggressively."