Next month sees International Infection Prevention Week.
COVID-19 has shown the world what we’ve always known—infection preventionists (IPs) are essential to keeping the world safe. In addition to all the usual suspects (healthcare-associated infections, resurgence in measles outbreaks, flu season, etc.), the infection prevention and control community is fighting a global pandemic for the foreseeable future.
Infections are caused by microscopic organisms known as pathogens or bacteria, viruses, fungi, or parasites. They enter the body, multiply, and interfere with normal functions. Some infections are minor and sometimes don’t even require medical treatment, however, Infectious diseases are a leading cause of illness and death around the world.
For those with underlying illnesses like heart disease or cancer, those who have serious injuries, or those who are taking medications that weaken the immune system—it’s more difficult to avoid getting sick with an infection. However, for most healthy people, following a few basic principles can go a long way in helping to prevent infections.
Although we now know that microscopic living microbes cause disease, how they do so is not always obvious, but we do know that most enter through breathing but they can also be transmitted through our skin through insect or animal bites. The best way to prevent infections is to block them from entering the body.
The most effective way to do this is to follow good personal hygiene habits. If you can prevent infection before it begins then you can’t spread it to others.
Wash your hands, and wash them well!! You should always wash them after using the bathroom, after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; feeding or stroking your pet; or before and after visiting or caring for a sick person. Last month we shared with you our handwashing tips
This may sound obvious, but cover a cough and a sneeze – either with a tissue or into your elbow rather than into your hands. A cough or a sneeze can travel a long way and into others.
Wash and bandage all cuts to avoid dirt/bacteria getting into it. Any serious cut or animal or human bite should be examined by a doctor. Do not pick at healing wounds or blemishes.
Don’t share cutlery or drinking cups with anyone and avoid direct contact with napkins, tissues, handkerchiefs, or similar items used by others.
Although most cases of food-borne infection are not dangerous, some can lead to serious medical conditions. You can prevent infections by food-borne pathogens in your household by preparing and storing foods safely. We offer a few Food Safety Courses to help you stay on track.
If you are travelling to an area where insect-borne disease is present, take and use an insect repellent containing DEET. In many tropical regions, mosquitoes can carry malaria, dengue, yellow fever, Japanese encephalitis, or other serious infections. Both mosquito’s and ticks are carriers of viruses and bacteria. And both have been associated with serious epidemics in the last decade.
Obviously the most common way for preventing infection is to get vaccinated. While vaccines may cause some common side effects, such as a temporarily sore arm or low fever, they are generally safe and effective. Make sure your pet’s vaccinations are up to date, too. In addition to protecting your pet, this will also protect you and your family.
To book our Infection Control course, Contact us now for further details