Infection Control Should Never RestBy Dan Weltin, Editor-In-Chief
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Health Officials say that H1N1, or swine flu, which was declared a pandemic in June 2009, is no longer a major threat to the American public, according to an article published in USA Today. People are still encouraged to get vaccinated, but 59 percent of the country's population is believed to be immune to the virus.
Customer demands for infection control procedures seem to ebb and flow with the media. When outbreaks make national headlines, demands are high. Unfortunately, the reverse is also true.
Now that the sensationalism of H1N1 is over, don't let customers skimp on infection control. The annual cold and flu season is just around the corner and cleaning procedures that limit the spread of H1N1 are the same for seasonal influenza: disinfecting commonly touched surfaces and encouraging hand washing or hand sanitizing.
|A new superbug, NDM-1
has already infected
people in three states
Just as critical, a new superbug New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase, or NDM-1, has already infected people in Massachusetts, California and Illinois. NDM-1 originated in India and later spread to Pakistan, Europe and Canada. It appears closely related to other carbapenem-resistant bacteria, meaning antibiotics, including penicillin and ampicillin won't be able to combat it. While not deadly, the CDC says NDM-1 still poses a serious threat. The bacteria is typically spread in healthcare facilities, including hospitals and nursing homes, by touching contaminated surfaces.
Most people think of doctors as the professionals who keep us healthy, but building service contractors play a healthcare role, too, by preventing the spread of infectious diseases. With each new outbreak, BSCs will just have to drive that message home. One day, facility managers will realize that implementing infection control procedures shouldn't be a reaction, but a proactive approach to keeping building occupants healthy year-round.