Infection Control And Preventing Disease Transmission
Pathogenic microorganisms can be transmitted to others in so many innocent ways. A cough or sneeze seems obvious since the vapors expelled can carry them in the air until someone else ingests them through simple breathing. If the carrier is in a confined space such as an airplane cabin at 30,000 feet or a fairly well sealed room in the winter, the chances of others acquiring the contagion is radically increased. Then of course there are touch points to consider.
Another innocent way is for the person sneezing or coughing to catch it on their hand and then touch a door knob, shake hands or touch another surface that allows the disease to survive. Please remember that a soiled doorknob, light switch, toy or even a magazine can harbor the disease, especially if there is food or other contaminants on it feed the bacteria or virus. A virus or bacteria need a source of food, moisture and a reasonable temperature to survive. Note that most pathogens thrive in a temperature of 95 – 100 degrees. Then take into account that the human body is oftentimes the perfect environment at 98.6 degrees and we realize that we are simple incubators for further transmission.
It is imperative that all staff understand the importance of using disinfectants correctly with sufficient dwell time to do the job. A secondary challenge is to continually educate not only staff but tenants in your accounts of the importance of correct hand washing which can be a tremendous deterrent to transmission of pathogens.
Our challenge continues to be to identify high priority touch points and keep them disinfected or at least sanitized while also assuring that they are not a source of food by simply keeping them free of soils and possible food sources.
Your comments and questions are important. I hope to hear from you soon. Until then, keep it clean…
Mickey Crowe has been involved in the industry for over 35 years. He is a trainer, speaker and consultant. You can reach Mickey at 678.314.2171 or CTCG50@comcast.net.