Infection Control

Infection Control

Early detection and control of spread of any infection is the only way to prevent communicable diseases from becoming a Public Health Hazard.

Endemic is a disease which is present in a selective population confined to one geographic area. Eg. Dengue spread by mosquitoes

Epidemic is a disease which is an outbreak, spreading fast and many people are affected. Eg Cholera outbreak spread by contaminated water

Pandemic is a disease where the epidemic has evolved to affect the population extensively including several geographic zones and may affect many countries and continents. Eg Covid.

Infection Control can be Primary Prevention ie prophylaxis even before actually becoming infected and avoiding the infection altogether. Eg With mosquito control measures, stopping diseases like Malaria, Filaria, Dengue, Chikingunia

Secondary Prevention includes measures where a part of the population is protected from acquiring the disease from other infected people. Eg Vaccination

Tertiary Prevention includes measures to control the disabilities, Morbidity and Mortality after acquiring the infection and ensuring complete recovery. Eg. Early treatment prevents disease complications.

In any organization, hygiene and housekeeping helps in Primary Prevention. This should be our target ideally. Effective Infection Control Practices must be in place round the clock. Collective efforts by each and everyone present is important.

Common methods of disinfecting large areas includes

  • Drying
  • Desiccation
  • Drainage monitors and cleaning
  • Fumigation
  • UV Sterilization
  • Spraying and Aerosols

Common methods of disinfecting self includes

  • Bathing. Teeth Brushing, Nails Clipping, Hand and feet hygiene, Hair grooming
  • Wearing Clean Clothes, Gloves, PPE

For any infection, transmitted by inhalation (breathing) and ingestion (eating and drinking)- Constant cleaning of hands, using sterilizing agents, avoiding touching of face, handling common fomites, touching door knobs, hand rails etc are the proven methods for good infection control.

For example let us imagine how an aeroplane flying long distance should ensure safety of its passengers as this is a closed, confined area where cross ventilation is inadequate, where people breathe the exhaled air from other copassengers, where food is served, where washrooms are used, where waste management is a challenge, where there is space constraints everywhere and where only limited resources are available. By judicious use of the different disinfecting methods we can largely control spread of infection. But even if one passenger is careless, he may endanger others.

Education of Public and creating awareness about different diseases can be planned. The nature of the infecting organism, the mode of spread, the method of transmission, the risks must be explained.

Surveillance or monitoring carefully for any incidence of infections among the people must be done periodically.

General Health Programmes can include Induction Training, Personal Hygiene, Safety, Health Checkups, Fitness Certifications and Awareness Training.