Category Archives: Infection Control

What Is SARS-CoV-2 and the Disease It Causes Named coronavirus disease 2019 or Better Known As COVID-19

 

 

 

What is Coronavirus?

The virus has been named “SARS-CoV-2” and the disease it causes has been named “COVID-19.”

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that may cause respiratory illnesses in humans ranging from common colds to more severe conditions such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).

‘Novel coronavirus’ is a new, previously unidentified strain of coronavirus. The novel coronavirus involved in the current outbreak has been named SARS-CoV-2 by the World Health Organization (WHO). The disease it causes has been named “coronavirus disease 2019” (or “COVID-19”).

How does the virus spread?

COVID-19 can spread from person to person usually through close contact with an infected person or through respiratory droplets that are dispersed into the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes.  It may also be possible to get the virus by touching a surface or object contaminated with the virus and then touching your mouth, nose or eyes, but it is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

 

 

Where has COVID-19 spread to?

As of the March 6, 2020, there are over 95,000 confirmed cases of infection by the virus—and 3,381 of that number have resulted in death. While most cases of COVID-19 infection are in China, the virus has spread to 88 other countries.

What are the symptoms?

Similar to other respiratory illnesses, the symptoms of COVID-19 may include fever, cough, and shortness of breath.

People infected with COVID-19 may experience any range of these symptoms along with aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat and diarrhea. Symptoms can start to show up anywhere from two to 14 days after exposure to the virus3. It may be possible for an infected person who is not yet showing any symptoms to spread the virus. Older persons, and those with pre-existing medical illnesses like heart disease and diabetes, however, seem to be more likely to experience severe respiratory symptoms and complications.

How to protect yourself from coronavirus

The best preventative action is to avoid being exposed to the virus. You can do this by taking a few cautionary steps—the same as you would if you were trying to avoid getting any respiratory illness.

  1. Wash your hands with soap and water frequently. If soap and water are not readily accessible, use alcohol-based sanitizers.
  2. Avoid contact with sick people.
  3. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with your hands if they are unwashed.
  4. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your bent elbow when you sneeze or cough. Make sure to dispose of the tissue immediately.
  5. If you are feeling unwell, stay home.
  6. If you have no respiratory symptoms such cough, a medical mask is not necessary.  Only use the mask if you have symptoms such as coughing or sneezing or suspect a COVID-19 infection. A mask is recommended for those caring for anyone with COVID-19.

What to do if you suspect you are infected?

The symptoms of COVID-19 are very similar to those of a cold or the flu, making it challenging to identify the specific cause of any respiratory symptoms. If you suspect you have been infected by COVID-19, you should seek medical care as soon as possible.

Until you can access medical care, you should follow these guidelines to reduce your likelihood of infecting others:

  • Restrict your outdoor activities and stay at home as much as you can. If it is feasible, stay in a separate room, and use a different bathroom from others in your household.
  • Clean and/or disinfect objects and surfaces that you touch regularly.
  • Track your symptoms as accurately as possible, so you can provide medical personnel with useful information.

Are there any treatments or vaccines?

There are currently no treatments, drugs, or vaccines available to treat or prevent COVID-19. People infected with the virus should receive medical treatment to relieve and alleviate the symptoms they are experiencing.

For Additional Information Please Visit the CDC Website:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/index.html

 

Resource:  https://www.gethealthystayhealthy.com/articles/what-know-about-coronavirus-covid-19-explained

Making a Difference – Innovations in Infection Prevention 2020 Awards

Awards Announcement:

Making a Difference – Innovations in Infection Prevention 2020

C Diff Foundation acknowledges the following organizations “Making a Difference”
In the Infection Prevention community, with their innovative products, services, and
technologies addressing infection prevention.

 

 

 

 

Applied Silver
Innovation: SilvaClean® Technology
SilvaClean chemistry is EPA-approved as a laundry additive with residual activity
against post-laundry contamination.
The SilvaClean system is a dispensing device enabled by the Internet of Things (IoT)
that doses the EPA-approved SilvaClean chemistry onto textiles, leaving fabrics with
residual antimicrobial properties even after laundering (e.g. in storage, during handling
and in use).
http://www.appliedsilver.com/

 

 

 

 

Intellego Technologies
Innovation: UVC Dosimeter™
Able to measure specific wavelengths of UVC radiation.
Can be correlated with a log reduction of microbiology samples e.g. MRSA and C. diff.
Proven functionality through hospital testing.
http://intellego-technologies.com/

 

 

 

 

Synexis Biodefense Systems
Innovation: Synexis™ Microorganism Reduction Systems
Patented Dry Hydrogen Peroxide (DHP) technology uses a building’s ambient humidity
and oxygen to continuously achieve sustainable reduction of microbial challenges from
viruses, bacteria, and mold in the air and on workplace surfaces.
DHP technology is inexpensive, highly scalable, and can be installed standalone or in
existing HVAC systems.
https://synexis.com/

Join Us in November!

Join Us at the 8th Annual International C. diff. Conference and Health EXPO taking
place in Boston, Massachusetts USA on November 12th and 13th, 2020 where we will
present and showcase these prestigious awards to the 2020 “Making a Difference” Innovations In Infection Prevention organizations.

Early Bird Registration is in progress — save over 20% until June 2020.

Congratulations to the organizations dedicated in preventing infections and for
developing products, services, and technology capable to ward off harmful bacteria in
all areas of health care and commercial environments. We are truly grateful for the
innovative measures taken to accomplish this goal.

 

 

C Diff Foundation, a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization, established in 2012, and
comprised of 100% volunteering professionals dedicated at supporting public health
through education and advocating for C. difficile infection (CDI) prevention, treatments,
clinical trials, diagnostics, and environmental safety worldwide.

 

(Disclaimer: C Diff Foundation declares no conflict of interest; no funds or influence
were provided to C Diff Foundation by any parties.)

 

C Diff Foundation Welcomes Teena Chopra, MD, MPH – Clinician Educator

We are pleased to welcome Teena Chopra, MD, MPH, Clinician Educator as a Member of the C Diff Foundation, Co.-Director of the Junior Infection Fighter Program – Infection Prevention Education.

Dr. Chopra is a Professor of Medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases, at Wayne State University and the Corporate Medical Director of Hospital Epidemiology, Infection Prevention and Antibiotic Stewardship at Detroit Medical Center, Wayne State University. Her research interests include Epidemiology of Healthcare-associated Infections, Infection Prevention Antibiotic Stewardship and Immunization.

Dr. Chopra has published over 70 papers in various journals and book chapters. Additionally she has independently reviewed over 50 journal articles, and  has a special interest in studying the epidemiology of infections, including Clostridium difficile and Multi-Drug Resistant Organisms.

C Diff Foundation Welcomes Maureen Spencer, RN, M.Ed, CIC

We are pleased to welcome Maureen Spencer as a Member of the C Diff Foundation, Co.-Director of the Junior Infection Fighter Program – Infection Prevention Education.

Maureen Spencer, RN, M.Ed. has been an Infection Preventionist for over 40 years and is certified in infection control (CIC). As one of the early pioneers in infection control, she was awarded the APIC National Carole DeMille Award in 1990 and was selected as one of the APIC Heroes of Infection Prevention in 2007. In 2012 she was selected as one of the “Who’s Who of Infection Prevention” and in 2017 was recognized as a Fellow of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (FAPIC) for her advanced practice in infection prevention and leader within the field. She is currently an independent Infection Preventionist Consultant from Boston, MA and offers consulting and lecture presentations.Maureen has published numerous peer-reviewed publications and has presented many abstracts/posters at national conference. She is a national and international speaker on an array of infection prevention and control topics. Her previous positions included Director, Clinical Education at Accelerate Diagnostics, Tucson, AZ; Corporate Director, Infection Prevention for Universal Health Services, King of Prussia, PA; Infection Control Manager at New England Baptist Hospital (an Orthopedic Center of Excellence in Boston) and Director of the Infection Control Unit at Mass General Hospital, Boston, MA.

How To Wash Your Hands Correctly

How do I wash my hands correctly?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  1. Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
  2. Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Be sure to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
  3. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
  4. Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
  5. Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them, and use a paper towel to turn off the faucet, and then throw it away.

How do I clean my hands without soap or water?
If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers can quickly reduce the number of germs on hands in some situations, but sanitizers do not eliminate all types of germs.

  • Apply the product to the palm of one hand.
  • Rub your hands together.
  • Rub the product over all surfaces of your hands and fingers until your until your hands are dry.

Take a minute and enjoy the brief informational hand-washing video

Good Handwashing Is the BEST way to stay healthy

 

 

Contaminated Bed Linens and Microbes

Federal health officials recently reported that at least two million Americans are infected every year by antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and at least 23,000 die from those infections (1). This harsh reality of hospital infections means that there is no doubting the importance of their control and prevention. Limiting the spread of infection will require novel infection control strategies. A key element of this strategy is to control the dispersal of microbes via contaminated bed linen, mattresses and other points of close contact with infected individuals (2).

As modern-day hospital infection control measures improve, there is an increased focus on bed linen and associated materials as possible sources of infection. Fijan and Turk (3), identify incidences of Staphylococcus aureusEnterococcus faeciumPseudomonas aeruginosa and Enterobacter aerogenes surviving temperatures of 60°C during standard washing processes. A study by Craemer and Humphries, (4) outlined many of the issues posed by inadequate cleaning of hospital beds. It was advocated that decontamination should be performed once a week in cases where patients were at a particular risk of infection. The optimal bed linen described was that which is easily washed and dried and has the lowest potential to harbour microorganisms. In addition, it is reaffirmed that pillows and mattresses warrant the greatest level of attention due to their proximity to patients undergoing care. The correct maintenance of storage presses and trolleys as part of any decontamination process is highlighted as an area that should also be considered as part of such a strategy.

A healthy individual is a reservoir of microbial contaminants that for the most part do not result in any adverse health effects. The innate and adaptive immune system combines with the physical barriers of the body to protect individuals from infection. As humans constantly shed skin, hair, saliva and sebaceous particles from their bodies in bed, the knock-on effect is the accumulation of microorganisms in bed linen. However, the development and persistence of dust mites and dust mite allergen (Der p 1 or Der f 1) in pillows is a major factor for people with immune hypersensitivity. It has been established that Der p 1 levels in house dust exceeding 2 µg/g are sufficient for eliciting an allergic/asthmatic response (5). In instances where an individual is immunocompromised, has an underlying infection, or has other predisposing factors such as asthma that make them susceptible to infectious diseases, the environment in which the person finds themselves may have a strong influence on their health.

The issues surrounding textiles in bedding and their role in reducing the risk of diminishing the health of individuals is not limited to the hospital setting. Recently, a national pillow health check performed in Ireland in conjunction with Gabriel Scientific and airmid healthgroup laboratories gave some indication as to the potential levels of contaminants present as we sleep. The study unveiled extremely high levels of bacteria and fungi in a selection of pillows that were analyzed. In addition, the concentration of dust mite allergen was found in some cases to be above the levels that have been demonstrated to elicit severe allergenic responses. Interestingly, a survey undertaken by those who submitted pillows for testing showed occurrences of contamination were frequently associated with factors such as the pillows being older, lower frequency of cleaning and reporting of poor sleep quality. While further research in this area is warranted to provide meaningful statistical correlations between contamination levels and the development and persistence of clinical manifestations, this work has strengthened the opinion that an improvement of an individual’s health may be enhanced by more frequent laundering of bed linen using better methods.

To view the article in its entirety, please click on the link below to be redirected:

https://www.airmidhealthgroup.com/resources-at-airmidhealthgroup/articles/742-contamination-of-bed-linen-factors-in-microbial-and-allergen-accumulation.html

 

To protect individuals from infection, the development of fabrics and textiles has led towards a more active means of preventing microbial growth. The practice of impregnating textiles with divalent cations such as silver or copper as a means to disrupt microbial membrane stability has been proposed as a solution, with claims of antifouling properties, odor control and prevention of topical infection (6, 7) The principal weakness of this technology is the leaching effect overtime during conventional washing of fabrics, depending on the manufacturing process, which may reduce the efficacy of such treatments (8). In addition, there is a growing body of evidence to suggest that this may pose an environmental risk as bioaccumulation of silver in aquatic life result in toxicity for marine life (9). Nevertheless, the application of such textile design and the development of new antimicrobial technologies could represent an invaluable tactic in controlling the spread of infections. Looking to the future, a combination of bed protection systems that are easily cleaned as well as the application of novel technologies in the construction of antimicrobial textiles could be one way in which the spread of infections is controlled.

About the author
John Fallon PhD is a Senior Microbiologist at airmid healthgroup, which helps clients with products and services related to residential and commercial indoor environments to differentiate their customer offerings through health-relevant marketing claims. Clients include Dyson Inc., LG Electronics, Stanley Steemer, Shaw Industries, Fellowes, Spring Air, Tarkett and Kenmore. airmid creates value for clients through a number of collaborative strategies, including field research projects, environmental test chamber studies and licensing our own intellectual property. airmid specializes in studying the relationship between allergens, viruses, bacteria, molds or other ultra-fine particles in the air and on surfaces to the spread of illness and disease in buildings. As a leading authority on biomedical and aerobiology research, they use this deep domain knowledge to improve products and services to make the indoor environment as healthy as possible. For more information, visit www.airmidhealthgroup.com.

References

  1. http://www.cdc.gov/drugresistance/threat-report-2013/
  2. Thilagavathi, G. and T. Kannaian, (2008). Dual antimicrobial and blood repellent finish for cotton hospital fabrics. Indian Journal of Fibre and Textile Research; 33: 23 – 29.
  3. Fijan, S. and S.S Turk, (2012). Hospital textiles, are they a possible vehicle for healthcare-associated infections? International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health; 9 (9): 3330 – 3343.
  4. Craemer, E. and H. Humphreys, (2008). The contribution of beds to healthcare-associated infection: the importance of adequate decontamination. Journal of Hospital Infection; 69 (1): 8-23.
  5. Platts-Mills, T.A., Vervloet, D., Thomas, W.R., Aalberse, R.C. and M.D. Chapman, (1997). Indoor allergens and asthma: report of the Third International Workshop. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology; 100 (6): S1 – S24.
  6. Borkow, G. and Gabbay, J. (2004). Putting Copper into Action: Copper-impregnated Products with Potent Biocidal Activities. FASEB Journal; 18(14): 1728-1730.
  7. Haug, S., Roll, A., Schmid-Grendelmeier, P., Johansen, P. Wüthrich, B. Kündig, T. and G. Sent, (2006). Coated Textiles in the Treatment of Atopic Dermatitis. Current problems in dermatology; 33: 144 – 151.
  8. Benn, T.M and P. Westerhoff, (2008). Nanoparticle silver released into water from commercially available sock fabrics. Environmental Science and Technology; 42 (11): 4133 – 4139.
  9. Mathivanan, V., Ananth, S. Ganesh Prabu, P. and Selvisabhanayakam, (2012). Role of silver nanoparticles: behavior and effects in the aquatic environment – a review. International Journal of Research in Biological Sciences; 2 (2): 77 – 82

Researchers Examined the Effect of Disinfectant on C. difficile Spores and How They Survived Afterwards On Surfaces Including Isolation Gowns, Stainless Steel and Vinyl Flooring

In lab studies, researchers found that C. diff spread easily from disposable gowns often employed in surgery or infection control to stainless steel and vinyl surfaces.

“The [bacteria] also transferred to vinyl flooring, which was quite disturbing. We didn’t realize they would,” said Tina Joshi, a lecturer in molecular microbiology at the University of Plymouth in the United Kingdom and lead author of the new study.

“These bugs evolve. These bugs like to stay one step ahead. And even though we’re using disinfectants and antibiotics appropriately, they still will become resistant in time. It’s inevitable,” Joshi said.

The bacteria, called Clostridioides difficile or C. diff., cause almost a half million infections every year in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The infection, which is spread by fecal to oral transmission, causes severe diarrhea, and can lead to intestinal inflammation and kidney failure. Those most at risk are people who have been given strong antibiotics, as well as those with long hospital stays, or those living in long-term care facilities like the elderly.

That means that keeping these facilities clean is incredibly important. But new research, published Friday (7/12/19)  in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology, shows how difficult that can be.

In lab studies, researchers found that C. diff spread easily from disposable gowns often employed in surgery or infection control to stainless steel and vinyl surfaces.

These bugs evolve. These bugs like to stay one step ahead. And even though we’re using disinfectants and antibiotics appropriately, they still will become resistant in time. It’s inevitable.

What’s more, the bacteria didn’t die when the researchers tried to kill them with concentrated chlorine disinfectant.

“Even if we applied 1,000 parts per million of chlorine, it would allow spores to survive in the gowns,” Joshi told NBC News.

It’s possible that increasing the amount of chlorine might kill the spores, but if the spores are indeed becoming resistant to the disinfectant, it will only be a matter of time before the stronger concentrations can’t kill them.

“These bugs evolve. These bugs like to stay one step ahead. And even though we’re using disinfectants and antibiotics appropriately, they still will become resistant in time. It’s inevitable,” Joshi said.

C. diff infections can occur when a patient is given broad spectrum antibiotics to tackle another infection.

If the bacteria aren’t killed, hospital patients or people in nursing homes can become infected when they come into contact with contaminated surfaces, such as a bedside food tray.

But if traditional disinfectants are ineffective, as the new research suggests, what works?

One option is UV light, which could be useful in killing the bacteria. However, it can be challenging to make sure all surfaces are fully exposed to the light. At this point, Joshi said, highly concentrated bleach appears to be the best option.

For those who care for patients with compromised immune systems at home, the C. Diff Foundation says alcohol-based hand sanitizers are ineffective against the bacteria.

On its website, the group recommends using a cleaning solution of one cup bleach to nine cups of water, and leaving the mixture on surfaces for a minimum of 10 minutes. (Basic & Generic, not EPA registered product).

Meanwhile, if C. diff spores can survive on gowns and other surfaces, it is likely also the case that they can live on doctor’s coats and scrubs worn by hospital personnel all day.  (C Diff Foundation agrees)

“That’s a real infection control hazard, because these spores can stick to fibers. We’ve proven that in this paper,” Joshi said.

Erika Edwards

Erika Edwards is the health and medical news writer/reporter for NBC News and Today.

 

To read the article in its entirety please click on the following link to be redirected:

https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/dangerous-bacteria-can-survive-disinfectant-putting-patients-risk-n1029231