Infection Prevention and Control: Breaking the Chain of Infection
6 April 2020
What is infection control and prevention?
Traditionally this means preventing and controlling illnesses that can be spread in the health-care setting. Of course with the current situation regarding the COVID-19 Coronavirus, this now means preventing and controlling illnesses that can be spread in any setting.
The purpose of infection prevention and control is to identify and reduce the risk of infections among patients, employees, medical staff members, contract service workers, volunteers, students, vendor representatives and visitors. Again this has now expanded to include anyone.
This is accomplished through many types of activities, for example, • monitoring infection occurrences in patients and employees • developing and implementing infection control policies and procedures • Infection Control and Prevention education • Safety programs, e.g. hand hygiene, blood borne pathogen prevention • quality improvement activities, e.g. reduction in infection rates, such as catheter related bloodstream infections • monitoring compliance with regulatory requirements • evaluating the environment • provide consultation on Infection Control and Prevention.
Breaking the chain of Infection
Jonathon Corum (April 2020) accessed from ‘The New York Times’ April 2nd 2020.
The main ways the public can help prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are at the personal level.
● Hand washing
● Avoid touching your face (especially your eyes, nose and mouth)
● Social distancing
● Preparing your home for possible COVID-19 exposure
While much has been written concerning hand washing, social distancing, and the now enforced quarantining, not much has been said about preparing our homes regarding Infection Protection and Control. It’s really quite simple. According to Armando Meza, M.D., chief of infectious diseases and associate academic dean of graduate medical education at the TTUHSC El Paso Paul L. Foster School of Medicine, it’s a case of keeping your home clean, ‘especially your kitchen and bathroom. Use of commercially available antimicrobial towels and sprays is appropriate.’
According to epidemiologist Bill Hanage, of Harvard, we’ve got to think like the virus – to ‘see it from the point of view of the pathogens and their evolution. What is going to be most helpful to them? What is going to enable them to leave the most descendants?’
At Myelearnsafety we want to do our bit to combat the COVID-19 Coronavirus through Infection Prevention and Control. To this effect we have launched our Infection Prevention and Control course.
You can also view our COVID-19 explainer video here.