Monthly alerts for consumers

Consumers play an important role in helping to prevent infections. After all, infection prevention is everyone’s business.

The following healthcare topics (formerly posted on APIC’s consumer website preventinfection.org) provide helpful tips and information for consumers on their role in stopping the transmission of infection. Sign up to receive monthly alerts from APIC about consumer-related infection topics.

Copyright disclosure
The resources on the following pages are free to download and share. We encourage the use of our consumer resources for infection prevention education, provided that the information is not modified. Please attribute these resources to the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) and include the links to additional resources (if applicable). If you have questions, please contact info@apic.org

07/30/2019

Removing water that doesn’t belong

In May, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recorded the wettest 12-month period on record for the United States. While additional rain may be helpful for lawns, it can also mean battling water where it doesn’t belong, which is known as water intrusion. An example of water intrusion could be a plumbing leak, roof leak, or even water entering a basement. When faced with water intrusion, follow these tips to reduce your risk of coming in contact with harmful organisms (germs) that could cause an infection.

06/27/2019

Staphylococcus aureus

Staphylococcus aureus or “staph” is a type of bacteria found on human skin, in the nose, armpit, groin, and other areas. While these germs don’t always cause harm, they can make you sick under the right circumstances. S. aureus is the leading cause of skin and soft tissue infections, such as abscesses, boils, furuncles, and cellulitis (red, swollen, painful, warm skin). S. aureus germs can also cause more serious infections, such as pneumonia, bloodstream infections, endocarditis (infection of the inner lining of the heart chambers and heart valves), and bone and joint infections.

S. aureus is spread by touching infected blood or body fluids, most often by contaminated hands.

05/24/2019

Community immunity

In light of the current Measles outbreaks occurring among 23 states, it is timely to talk about vaccine preventable diseases and the implications of community vaccination.

Community immunity is when a sufficient proportion of a population is immune to a contagious disease either through vaccination and or due to prior illness. This makes it unlikely to spread from person to person. Community immunity is also the protection from contagious diseases that individuals benefit from as a result of living in a community where a critical number of people are vaccinated.

04/18/2019

RSV

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a virus that infects the respiratory tract. RSV is the most common cause of bronchiolitis and pneumonia in children under 1 year of age. Most children will have been infected with the virus by their second birthday. Humans are the only known source of RSV. 

RSV is spread by contaminated secretions and surfaces. You can get RSV by touching a contaminated surface and then touching your eyes, nose or mouth. RSV can live on contaminated hands for up to 30 minutes but can survive for several hours on solid surfaces such as doorknobs and telephone handsets.

02/22/2019

Measles

Measles, also called rubeola, is a serious respiratory illness caused by the measles virus. It is a highly contagious virus that lives in the nose and throat mucus of an infected person. Measles can be spread even if the infected person is no longer in the room. 

The measles virus is spread through the air, or by direct contact, by infectious droplets. The infected droplets may also land on a surface, where they remain contagious for several hours. You can contract the virus by touching these surfaces and then putting your fingers in your mouth or nose or rubbing your eyes. The measles virus can remain in the air for up to two hours after a person with measles has occupied the area.

01/08/2019

Norovirus

Norovirus is a serious gastrointestinal illness that causes inflammation of the stomach and/or intestines. This inflammation leads to nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. Norovirus is extremely contagious (easy to spread) from one person to another. Norovirus is not related to the flu (influenza), even though it is sometimes called the stomach flu. Anyone can get norovirus, and they can have the illness multiple times during their lifetime.

12/18/2018

What you need to know about adenovirus

Adenovirus infections have recently been in the news for causing outbreaks in infants and young adults from two states. Adenovirus infections are common in the late winter, spring, and early summer, overlapping with flu season. Though these viral respiratory infections may easily be mistaken for the flu, there are distinct differences to keep in mind.

12/10/2018

How to prepare for an outpatient surgery procedure

Outpatient surgery (also known as ambulatory surgery) refers to procedures that do not require an overnight hospital stay. These procedures take place in ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs). ASCs are facilities that provide surgery, medical procedures, and diagnostic services outside of the hospital. Some commonly performed outpatient procedures include endoscopy/colonoscopy, hemodialysis, cataract surgery, ear/nose/throat procedures, gynecological procedures, gall bladder removal, kidney/bladder procedures, arthroscopic/orthopedic procedures, and hernia operations.

10/26/2018

What is conjunctivitis?

Conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye, occurs when the conjunctiva (the white part of the eyeball and the inner eye lid) is irritated by an infection or allergies. Conjunctivitis is highly contagious and can be caused by several different types of viruses and bacteria. It can occur with colds or symptoms of a respiratory infection, such as a sore throat. Wearing contact lenses that aren’t cleaned properly, or aren’t your own, can cause bacterial conjunctivitis.

09/11/2018

Vaccination saves lives

Vaccination is needed to protect us as individuals, family members, neighbors, classmates, and our communities. It also protects future generations by stopping the spread of disease. Although vaccines have reduced harmful infectious diseases, the germs that cause vaccine-preventable diseases still exist and can be spread to people who are not protected by vaccines. Thanks to vaccines, many deadly diseases have become rare in the United States. 

06/20/2018

How to Prevent Pesky Summer Pests

We love summer, but we hate the bugs that come with it. As the weather heats up, it is likely you will encounter these pesky creatures. If you’ve ever been bitten by a mosquito, tick, or flea, you probably have experienced the itching and irritation they cause. We may call them “pests,” but these vectors can spread germs and diseases with their bites. The term “vector-borne diseases” refers to the illnesses these bugs spread from person-to-person and animal-to-person. 

05/25/2018

Nightmare Bacteria: What are they, and what can I do?

Perhaps you’ve heard about drug-resistant “Superbugs” in the news. These new threats we are facing now are called “Nightmare Bacteria.” Some of these germs include: Vancomycin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (VRSA), Candida auris, and carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE). Nightmare bacteria are resistant to all antibiotic treatments and can share their genes for resistance with other germs. 

04/24/2018

Preventing infections during a natural disaster

The past year brought many disasters across our globe, from wildfires to hurricanes, flooding to tornadoes. Natural disasters like these bring not only devastation, but also infection implications. It is important to remember to remain as safe and healthy as possible, and preventing infections is one way you can regain control during and after a disaster.

03/20/2018

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is a vaccine-preventable, viral infection that causes inflammation of the liver. It is usually a mild illness, but in some instances, it can cause severe liver damage. A person can get hepatitis A by ingesting food or drink contaminated with fecal matter, or by coming in contact with an object that was contaminated with feces (stool) from a person who has hepatitis A.

02/27/2018

Who are infection preventionists?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),
1 in 25 hospitalized patients will get an infection as a result of the care they receive, and an estimated 75,000 patients will die each year. Because healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) are a threat to patient safety, many hospitals and healthcare facilities have made the prevention and reduction of these infections a top priority. 

09/28/2017

Pertussis

Pertussis, commonly known as whooping cough, is a serious respiratory illness characterized by an infectious cough. Although most of us were vaccinated against it as children, our ability to fight it off weakens, leaving us once again susceptible as adults. Pertussis is very contagious and can be quite serious, especially for infants less than one year of age.

07/10/2017

What is Lyme disease?

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection that can result from the bite of an infected deer tick also known as blacklegged ticks. Lyme disease was first recognized in the United States in 1975 after an unusual outbreak of arthritis near Lyme, Connecticut.   

06/27/2017

Foodborne botulism

The summer season brings with it many things like graduations, parties, and barbecues. Food safety is important for all these gatherings, and typically focuses on food preparation in the home. It is important to follow food safety instructions in the kitchen, while grilling, and home canning. Botulism has no smell or taste, so it is hard to detect, but it can be deadly. Therefore, it is important to learn how to prevent this foodborne illness.

05/03/2017

Hand hygiene and antimicrobial stewardship

May 5 is World Hand Hygiene Day: The World Health Organization’s annual global call to action for health workers. This year’s theme is “Fight antibiotic resistance—it’s in your hands.” So, what can you do to protect yourself and your family from the spread of harmful antibiotic resistant germs? You can pledge to wash your hands.

04/13/2017

Cute, fluffy, and harboring bacteria? The truth about backyard poultry.

Soft, fluffy chicks are practically synonymous with spring. With their downy feathers, chicks seem like great cuddling companions, but caution must be taken to prevent infection. Many human illnesses can be acquired through contact with live poultry (including chickens, ducks, geese, and turkeys), even when the birds do not appear to be ill. Therefore, it is important to learn how to prevent infection while handling these birds.

03/16/2017

Mumps: A vaccine-preventable disease on the rise

Mumps is a contagious disease caused by a virus. It is spread from person-to-person via direct contact or by droplets of saliva from the mouth, nose, or throat of an infected person, typically when the infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks. The virus may also spread if the infected person touches items or surfaces without washing their hands, and then someone touches those contaminated surfaces and then touches their mouth or nose.

03/03/2017

Preventing infection in adult day centers

Adult day centers provide medical, social, nutritional, and recreational services to seniors and adults with disabilities. The primary aim of the adult day center is to provide care and increase interaction with others, often times engaging them in group activities. Adult day centers also provide meals, activities, socialization, and supervision. 

11/29/2016

Preventing infection in early childhood centers

As you drop your child off at day care, you are probably thinking: Will they eat enough? Will they take a nap? Will she miss me? How will he get along with the other children? These are all important questions, but your overwhelming concern is likely that your infant or toddler is safe and healthy. Learn more about preventing infections in early childhood centers.

11/24/2016

Why should I get a flu shot?

National Influenza Vaccination Week (NIVW), hosted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), highlights the importance of getting an influenza vaccination every year. Seasonal influenza, often referred to simply as “the flu,” associated with approximately 200,000 hospital admissions and as many as 49,000 deaths annually in the United States, according to the CDC. Some people, such as older people, young children, and people with certain health conditions, are at high risk for serious flu complications. 

09/01/2016

How to be a good (and healthy) roommate

It’s that time of year again. School has started, and many young adults are heading off to college for the first time. There will be new adventures and experiences. Personal hygiene may not be a priority for everyone on your dorm floor, so we want to give you some tips on how to be a good roommate and how to stay healthy while you’re away at school.

07/26/2016

Hepatitis

Hepatitis is inflammation of the liver that may be caused by viruses, drugs, alcohol, or some hereditary or immune problems. The most common types of hepatitis are A, B, and C. In the United States, the most common type of viral hepatitis is hepatitis C.

06/27/2016

Diabetes, infections, and you

Diabetes is a chronic disease in which blood glucose (a type of sugar) levels are above normal levels. In people who have diabetes, the pancreas either doesn’t make enough insulin (a hormone that helps glucose get the cells of our bodies), or it doesn’t use insulin as well as it should. This can cause sugar to build up in the blood and lead to serious health complications like blindness, heart disease, kidney failure, and lower-extremity amputations. 

05/03/2016

Clean your hands often!

May 5 is the World Health Organization’s World Hand Hygiene Day. Hand hygiene (washing with soap and water or using hand sanitizer) is the most effective way to prevent the spread of infections. Because it is the number one way to stop the spread of germs, it is important to clean your hands often. Remember: CLEAN HANDS COUNT for safe healthcare! 

04/21/2016

Meningococcal disease: What it is and how to prevent it

Meningococcal disease is any infection caused by the bacterium Neisseria meningitidis. It can cause bloodstream infections or meningitis—an inflammation in the lining that covers the brain and spinal cord. The type of meningitis that is caused by meningococcal disease is referred to as meningococcal meningitis. It will strike otherwise healthy individuals and can cause devastating illness—even death.  

03/10/2016

Is strep causing that sore throat?

“My throat hurts!” That’s not a phrase any parent wants to hear, and their first guess is often strep throat. Strep throat (or Group A Streptococcal pharyngitis) is a common illness in children, but can affect people at any age. Here’s what you need to know about strep throat and how to prevent it.  

01/11/2016

Fecal transplants: A new Clostridium difficile treatment option

Clostridium difficile (C. diff) infection is a diarrheal illness that causes almost half a million infections among patients in the United States each year. The illness happens more commonly in people who have been taking antibiotics. This is because the antibiotics change the normal bacteria in the gut. A new treatment is now being given to patients with recurrent C. diff. It is called Fecal Microbiota Transplantation (FMT), or bacteriotherapy, and it involves putting stool or fecal specimen (poop) from a healthy person into the gastrointestinal tract of the patient who has C. diff.

11/13/2015

Get Smart: Your role in preventing antibiotic resistance

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that each year in the United States, at least 2 million people become infected with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics and at least 23,000 people die as a direct result of these infections. In recognition of Get Smart about Antibiotics Week, November 14-20, we are providing you with important information about the appropriate use of antibiotics and antibiotic resistance.

10/20/2015

Should I wear a facemask during flu season?

Have you ever seen someone wearing a facemask in the street or on public transportation? You may wonder, “Should I wear a facemask during flu season or while on a plane?” The short answer to this question is probably, “No.” For most people, covering your mouth when coughing and sneezing, and frequent hand washing—with warm water and soap, or alcohol-based hand sanitizer—is a much better way to prevent illness than wearing a facemask out in public. 

09/16/2015

Sepsis

Sepsis is a serious medical condition resulting from an infection. As part of the body’s inflammatory response to fight infection, chemicals are released into the bloodstream. These chemicals can cause blood vessels to leak and clot, meaning organs like the kidneys, lung, and heart will not get enough oxygen. 

08/24/2015

Herd immunity

Herd immunity (or community immunity) occurs when a high percentage of the community is immune to a disease (through vaccination and/or prior illness), making the spread of this disease from person to person unlikely. Even individuals not vaccinated (such as newborns and the immunocompromised) are offered some protection because the disease has little opportunity to spread within the community.

05/07/2015

Be prepared for natural disasters

Natural disasters are an unfortunate reality of living on planet earth. So what are we to do when Mother Nature barges in and takes control? Be prepared. As hard as we wish we could predict the future, we simply cannot. We cannot reliably and accurately predict tomorrow evening’s winning lottery numbers, traffic on the expressway, or even a natural disaster. Our best option is to be prepared.

03/03/2015

What is antimicrobial stewardship?

Antimicrobial stewardship is the conservation of antibiotics, so they continue to work effectively. This can be accomplished by using antibiotics properly. It is important to know that antibiotics only treat bacterial infections, not viral infections. All healthcare facilities should have antimicrobial stewardship programs in place.

02/24/2015

ERCP procedures and duodenoscopes: Infection risks and considerations

You may have heard about recent reports of infections with carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE), a highly resistant form of bacteria, linked to endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) procedures. Most recently, Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center notified 179 patients who underwent ERCP that they may have been exposed to CRE from contaminated duodenoscopes.

01/16/2015

Measles: What you should know

Measles is a serious respiratory disease that is spread easily through coughing and sneezing. Measles is a very contagious virus that can spread even if the person with measles is no longer in the room. Measles can also be spread by an infected person even before a rash or any other symptoms appear. Learn more about preventing measles.

07/07/2014

Recreational water illnesses

Summer is here, so now is the time to get out and enjoy the weather and get into the water. But don’t let all that beautiful blue water fool you; it can be contaminated with many germs that can cause recreational water illnesses (RWI). Knowing the basic facts about RWI can make the difference between an enjoyable time at the pool, beach, or water park, and getting a rash, having diarrhea, or developing another potentially serious illness.

03/26/2014

Top 9 ways to reduce the risk of pneumonia if you or a loved one is hospitalized

Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs. A variety of organisms, including bacteria, viruses and fungi, can cause pneumonia. Certain people are more likely to get sick with pneumonia including adults 65 years of age or older; children younger than 5 years of age; people who have medical conditions like diabetes, heart disease, or asthma; and people who smoke cigarettes. Learn more about pneumonia and steps you can take to prevent it.

03/24/2014

Antibiotic use

There is no doubt that antibiotics save lives; however, misuse of antibiotics can result in resistant infections and deadly diarrhea. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a new report on improving antibiotic use among hospitalized patients. Learn more about antibiotic uses, antibiotic resistance, and patient safety.

02/24/2014

What is an HAI?

You may have read about HAIs in the newspaper or seen news about them on TV, but you may still be wondering what exactly they are. Look no further, my friend, for you have come to the right place. Simply stated, HAI stands for healthcare-associated infection. Learn more about these infections and how you can help prevent them. 

01/22/2014

How to be a good visitor at a nursing home

You all know the feeling. You wake up with a scratchy throat, a headache, a cough, or you might be feeling a bit achy, or feel like you have “just a touch of a cold.” Your stomach may be upset or you may be making frequent bathroom stops. But you had planned to visit your loved one at a long-term care facility (also known as a nursing home), and you know he/she has been looking forward to your visit.  

These can be symptoms of many things, but they might be symptoms of respiratory or gastrointestinal illnesses that can spread quickly and infect a long-term care facility’s residents, patients, families, and staff. What to do?

12/19/2013

Clean your home to prevent winter illness

As colder weather settles in and we spend more time indoors in enclosed spaces, it is time to think about winterizing our homes and cleaning dust and dirt which carry germs. A few simple tips can make the daunting task easier and provide for a cleaner environment for you and your family—limiting the spread of cold and flu germs and other types of infections. Start at the top and work down…second floor to first floor to basement. Remember to make cleaning a family affair. Keeping a home clean should be shared by all members of the family. 

Ready? Let’s get started!

12/04/2013

Holiday hand hygiene

The holiday season is a time for enjoying the company of our family and friends, marathon mall shopping to look for that perfect present, office parties, and interaction with many members of our community. Coincidentally, illnesses such as colds and the flu tend to flourish during this time as well. Learn how to stay well to enjoy the festivities by keeping your hands clean!

11/12/2013

Get smart about antibiotics… and antibiotic resistance!

It has been a common practice for decades—you get sick, you go to the doctor, you ask for antibiotics, and you get a prescription (whether you need it or not); you feel better in a couple of days and you stop taking the antibiotic. Sound familiar? Because of overuse and improper use of antibiotics for so many years, the bacteria have become smart and they have adapted (or mutated) to let themselves continue to multiply and spread. Some of the bacteria are resistant to just one group (also known as family) of antibiotics but there are some bacteria that are resistant to many families. These we call multidrug-resistant organisms and unfortunately, we’re seeing more of them. 

10/30/2013

Influenza and pneumococcal immunization

The best way to prevent pneumococcal disease and influenza (also known as the flu) is by getting vaccinated. By doing so, you not only protect yourself, but you protect others (e.g., cancer patients, people with suppressed immune systems) who are vulnerable to severe illness or even death if they get one of these viruses. Learn more about these vaccines and how to protect yourself and loved ones.

09/26/2013

Protect the young

Flu is so highly contagious that it leads to thousands of hospitalizations each year and can even cause death. More than 600 children have died from the flu over the past four years. Everyone 6 months and older needs flu vaccine every year. Families are an essential member of vaccination team!

07/11/2013

Injection safety: What you don’t know can hurt you

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported nearly 50 outbreaks linked to unsafe injection practices, with more than 150,000 patients affected since 2001. These outbreaks have included transmission of hepatitis B and C, as well as bacterial infections. Learn more about how patients can ensure providers are using safe injection practices by knowing what to look for and the right questions to ask. 

05/21/2013

Chlamydia: What you need to know

Chlamydia is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases (STD) in the United States, with 3 million infections occuring each year. This bacterial disease can infect the penis, vagina, anus, urethra, eye, or throat and may result in serious health problems. Teens and young adults have the highest rates of infection. Learn how to prevent this infection.

04/22/2013

Hepatitis C screening for baby boomers

If you were born during 1945-1965, talk to your doctor about getting tested for hepatitis C. More than 15,000 Americans, most of them baby boomers, die each year from hepatitis C-related illness. Deaths related to hepatitis C have been on the rise and are expected to increase. Hepatitis C is a leading cause of liver cancer and the leading reason for liver transplants. 

03/20/2013

CRE: The ‘nightmare bacteria’

CRE (carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae) infections come from bacteria that are normally found in a healthy person’s digestive tract. When a person is receiving serious medical care (for example, involving urinary catheters, intravenous catheters, or surgery) these bacteria can end up where they don’t belong—for example in the bladder or blood. Because these bacteria have become resistant to antibiotics, these infections are very difficult to treat.

11/02/2012

Antibiotics – Preserving them for the future

Antibiotics are life-saving drugs used to treat bacterial infections. Using antibiotics inappropriately contributes to the rise in antibiotic-resistant infections. As a result, stronger, more expensive antibiotics are needed to overcome the same bacteria. People who develop antibiotic-resistant infections are more likely to need hospitalization and are at increased risk for death. 

10/15/2012

Herpes Zoster vaccine—Protection that adds up!

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 1 out of every 3 people in the United States will develop shingles (Herpes Zoster). People with shingles develop a painful skin rash. Shingles can also cause symptoms, such as fever and headache. Rarely, the infection can lead to pneumonia, hearing problems, blindness, brain inflammation (encephalitis) or death. The CDC recommends that adults ages 60 and older should receive the Zostavax vaccine to prevent shingles. Learn more about how to reduce the risk and complications of shingles.

08/16/2012

Rabies: What you need to know

Rabies is a virus that is transmitted from animals to humans (or other animals) through saliva, central nervous system tissue (brain, spinal cord), and brain/spinal cord fluid. The fluid or tissue containing the virus enters the system via fresh bites or scratches or through contacting the eyes, nose, and mouth. Rabies affects mammals and is often found in bats, skunks, raccoons, foxes, cats (feral), dogs, and livestock. Bites by some animals, such as bats, can inflict minor injury and can sometimes be difficult to detect. It is therefore important to understand the disease, be able to recognize an exposure, and know how to protect yourself after an exposure has occurred. Listen to the public service announcement.

07/27/2012

Get the facts about necrotizing fasciitis: The flesh-eating disease

There are many strains of bacteria that can cause the flesh-eating disease known as necrotizing fasciitis, but most cases are caused by a bacteria called group A strep, or Streptococcus pyogenes. More common infections with group A strep are not only strep throat, but also a skin infection called impetigo. Flesh-eating strep infections or necrotizing fasciitis is considered rare. 

06/25/2012

If you could prevent cancer with a vaccine, would you get it?

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is a virus that can cause cervical, penile, anal, vaginal, and/or oropharyngeal (mouth or throat) cancers. In 2006, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), a division of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), recommended vaccination against HPV for all girls 11 or 12 years of age. In 2011, the ACIP recommended that boys ages 11 or 12 also receive the vaccine. Since there is no cure for the virus, vaccination is the best way to prevent people from getting the illness.

02/17/2012

Do the “WAVE” to help protect your loved ones from healthcare-associated infections

The Office of Healthcare Quality and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Partnership for Patients have created the “WAVE” campaign to help caregivers protect their loved ones from healthcare-associated infections. The “WAVE” campaign directs patients and their family members to wash hands, ask questions, vaccinate and ensure safety.

12/01/2011

Preventing the flu depends on you

Flu viruses are spread mainly by droplets made when people with the flu cough, sneeze, or talk. These droplets can then land in the mouth or nose of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. A person might also get the flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their eyes, nose, or mouth.

11/01/2011

Antibiotic awareness 101

In commemoration of “Get Smart about Antibiotics Week,” November 14-20, PreventInfection.org is providing you with useful information about the appropriate use of antibiotics. Be part of the solution!

If you developed a serious infection, such as pneumonia or sepsis (bloodstream infection), prior to 1942, chances are you might not have survived.

09/01/2011

Prevent infections by keeping your environment clean

Keeping your environment clean—whether at home, work, school or the hospital—is an important way to prevent infection. Dangerous germs can take up residence anywhere. By keeping them to a minimum, you will reduce your chances of developing an infection and improve your health.

07/01/2011

Mosquitoes, West Nile Virus, and you

The “Fight the Bite” campaign championed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has one focus – to eliminate or radically reduce diseases in humans that are carried by mosquitoes. One of those diseases is West Nile Virus (abbreviated WNV), which was first recognized in the United States in 1999. Since then, a lot has been learned about this virus which is thought to have originated in Africa, west Asia and Europe.

06/01/2011

Infection Prevention and You

Learn about who is working to keep you safe from healthcare-associated infections and how you can have a role in speaking up about your care. 

05/01/2011

Don’t let bugs—invisible or visible—ruin your summer vacation!

Whether you fly, drive or cruise the seas, vacations are expensive and your time away from the stress of the normal routine is precious. Therefore, you can’t afford to let germs ruin the time away for you or your loved ones. Here are some basic tips to help keep your summer vacation a healthy and happy one.

12/01/2010

Cold and Influenza

Every year, colds and flu spread across the country from person to person and family to family. This month, PI.org offers information on the difference between colds and flu and how to guard your health this season.

10/01/2010

Foodborne illness

Throughout the year, we gather with friends and family for potlucks, parties, catered events, and celebrations in our homes and in restaurants. It is important to take steps to avoid food poisoning through the proper handling and preparation of food.

09/01/2010

Infection prevention outside the hospital

We know that hospital rooms can harbor germs that can cause serious infections, especially for elderly or immunocompromised patients. But did you know that germs and infections live everywhere, even out in the community? As the “family infection preventionist,” understand the risks and take action in preventing the spread of community infections. We all play a part in keeping loved ones safe and cared for at home and while eating out.

07/01/2010

Workplace infection prevention

Most Americans work outside the home. Whether in an office or in a more non-traditional setting, we come into contact with many different individuals and multiple potential reservoirs for the transmission of infection. So what can we do on a routine basis to protect our health and the overall health of our working environment?

04/01/2010

Molds

Molds are one of two groups of fungi (the other group is yeast) that live in the outdoors or can live indoors. Molds grow in wet, damp and humid conditions; they reproduce by making tiny spores. The spores are not visible to the naked eye, and they can float in the air. Mold spores serve a function similar to that of seeds in plants; they germinate and grow into new mold under conditions of moisture, the right temperature and availability of food. Spores can also survive in incompatible conditions for periods of time.

03/01/2010

Infection prevention in the home

A fresh start… As we emerge from the long winter, so too do many of the germs tracked inside from our snow boots, pets’ feet and hibernating AC units. Although spring cleaning can be a major undertaking, maintaining an infection-free, healthy home is worth the time and energy you will spend. Spring cleaning reinforces our commitment to keep germs out of the home and stop infectious diseases from spreading in the warm months ahead. 

01/01/2010

Caring for family members with seasonal and 2009 H1N1 flu

National Influenza Vaccination Week (January 10-16, 2010) is an opportunity to remind the public that vaccination is the best way to prevent the flu and the importance of continuing influenza vaccination after the holiday season and beyond. This flu season could be worse than usual with more people getting sick. The good news is that most people can be cared for at home and will feel better in about a week. As we approach the mid-point of flu season, APIC offers these tips on how to create a sick room in your home (adapted from material published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).

10/01/2009

H1N1 Influenza (Swine Flu)

October 18-24, 2009 is International Infection Prevention Week (IIPW). IIPW is an annual event to raise awareness about the importance of infection prevention and what consumers can do to guard against infections. As H1N1 influenza continues to spread and more people become infected with the virus, APIC’s message for IIPW 2009 focuses on how consumers can stay healthy during this flu season.

09/01/2009

Keeping your hospital room clean

Hospital rooms can harbor germs that can cause serious infections, especially for elderly patients, those with weakened immune systems, and those who have undergone surgery or who have catheters or tubes inserted in the body. Patients play an important role in reducing the risk of infection transmission by keeping their hospital room as clean as possible.

07/01/2009

Clostridium difficile

Clostridium difficile, the life-threatening bacterium that causes diarrhea and more serious intestinal conditions, is sickening many more patients than previously estimated, according to a 2008 study released by the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC).

05/01/2009

H1N1 Flu (Swine Flu)

Swine Influenza (swine flu) is a respiratory disease of pigs that carry the Type A influenza (H1N1) virus. Cases of human infection with swine influenza A (H1N1) viruses have been reported in the U.S. and in other countries. The virus is contagious and can spread from person to person.