Infection prevention and control is everybody’s business. Understanding how infectious organisms are transmitted and knowing how and when to apply the basic principles of infection prevention and control is critical to maintaining a safe and hygienic workplace.
Micro-organisms can either live permanently on a person’s hands (called resident flora) or they can be picked up from touching objects and people (called transient flora). Your hands can also be contaminated from contact with respiratory secretions when coughing or sneezing (coughing into your hands). An infectious agent can easily be transmitted from a person’s hand to an object and then to another person’s hand.
Respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette
Respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette should be used at all times. Covering sneezes and coughs prevents an infected person from dispersing respiratory secretions into the air. Hands should be washed with soap and water after coughing, sneezing, using tissues, or after contact with respiratory secretions or objects contaminated by these secretions.
Cleaning removes the bulk of micro-organisms from surfaces. Micro-organisms are generally unable to multiply on clean, dry, inanimate surfaces. Cleaning is the removal of foreign materials such as soil and organic material from objects and is normally accomplished by using a cleaning product.
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