Infection Control & First Aid Blog

National Influenza Vaccination Week

[fa icon="calendar'] 12/4/17 8:30 AM / by Morgan Bedford posted in Influenza Season

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) “established National Influenza Week in 2005 to highlight the importance of continuing flu vaccination through the holiday season and beyond”. This year it will be acknowledged December 3-9, 2017.

Influenza, better known as the flu, is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can even lead to death. Symptoms of the flu tend to start suddenly and include the following:

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What should we expect this upcoming flu season?

[fa icon="calendar'] 11/27/17 8:30 AM / by Morgan Bedford posted in Influenza Season, Flu Prevention

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An onslaught of a deadly and quickly mutating strain of the flu has affected the Southern Hemisphere as well as parts of Australia this year. Influenza A, caused by the H3N2 virus, is the flu subtype wreaking havoc on these areas, especially in Australia. The H3N2 virus triggers outbreaks of influenza A and B that circulate among individuals. Flu seasons are undeniably miserable when this virus dominates. Statistics from the Immunisation Coalition “show there was a 156% increase in confirmed cases of influenza in August this year when compared to the same time last year.”

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Sending You Warm Thoughts This Thanksgiving

[fa icon="calendar'] 11/21/17 10:00 AM / by Jill Tilton

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Happy Thanksgiving!

We wanted to share with you what our team is thankful for this year.

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What is Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)?

[fa icon="calendar'] 11/15/17 8:30 AM / by Morgan Bedford posted in Cold and Flu

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Respiratory Syncytial Virus is a common virus that attacks the respiratory tract. This extremely contagious disease can cause severe lung infections, including bronchiolitis and pneumonia. Each year in the United States, more than 57,000 children younger than 5 years are hospitalized due to RSV infection. Additionally, about 177,000 older adults are hospitalized annually with an RSV infection, and about 14,000 die from it.
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Announcing: New Safetec Red Z and Green-Z Drop-In Pacs

[fa icon="calendar'] 11/7/17 8:30 AM / by Jill Tilton posted in Drop-In Pacs, New Products

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Now with Advanced Self-Dissolving Paper Technology

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Every Day Is A Good Day To Wash Your Hands

[fa icon="calendar'] 11/6/17 9:00 AM / by Morgan Bedford posted in Hand Washing

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Believe it or not, handwashing saves lives. Since 2008, Global Handwashing Day has been celebrated annually on October 15 worldwide, encouraging children, teachers, and families to get involved, support a culture of handwashing with soap, and raise awareness about the benefits.
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How Clean Are Classrooms?

[fa icon="calendar'] 11/1/17 9:00 AM / by Morgan Bedford posted in Infection Control, Infection Prevention

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In this presentation, ISSA Senior Training Specialist Mark Warner speaks about cleaning and disinfecting facilities for the upcoming school year and provides input on how to remain germ-free throughout the year. Warner explains that it is the school’s responsibility to thoroughly clean all appliances and utilities before kids return to school. Therefore, it is a mission of ISSA to help schools prepare during summer. At the same time, Warner notes that it is impossible to disinfect every single surface. And no matter how unblemished the building may be, “as soon as people start entering the building, they bring along with them anything they could be carrying on their skin or the soles of their shoes for that matter”. His advice? Be on your own guard. Wash your hands often and refrain from touching your face and scratching wounds in order to keep sickness away.

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Can There Be A Completely Sterile Environment?

[fa icon="calendar'] 10/26/17 8:45 AM / by Morgan Bedford posted in Infection Control, Infection Prevention, Healthcare-associated infections

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“You would think that a hospital is the most germ-free place, specifically designed for people to recover from illness, not catch them” but a recent study conducted by the US National Institutes of Health and the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention points to a different conclusion. The research study tracked 40 nurses who wore three types of scrubs (a traditional cotton-polyester blend; one treated with silver-alloy inside fibers; and one treated to kill bacteria) over three 12-hour shifts in which they monitored one or two patients in a medical or surgical intensive care unit.

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Breakdowns in Communication Lead to Outbreaks

[fa icon="calendar'] 10/18/17 9:00 AM / by Morgan Bedford posted in Infection Control, Healthcare-associated infections

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Communication failures between healthcare facilities can lead to infection outbreaks. A two-year research study conducted by OSU/OHSU College of Pharmacy, the Oregon Health Authority, and other collaborators suggests that statement is true. Researchers focused on an opportunistic pathogen associated primarily with infections among patients who have compromised immune systems and are in health care facilities known as Acinetobacter baumannii. The pathogen is extensively drug-resistant and can contain many antibiotic resistance genes that can be transmitted to other organisms. Multiple sites in the Pacific Northwest were studied, where “scientists identified 21 cases, including 16 isolates, of Acinetobacter baumannii that contained a rare gene responsible for resistance to the carbapenem class of antibiotics.”

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Occupational Exposure- Healthy Lung Month (October)

[fa icon="calendar'] 10/11/17 8:45 AM / by Jill Tilton posted in Healthy Lung Month

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We all know how important it is to maintain a clean, healthy, and compliant work environment, so in support of National Healthy Lung Month (HLM), we are going to focus on workplace air quality. Occupational exposure to common and potentially hazardous airborne debris or bacterial contaminants can have a big impact on an employee's immediate and long term health. Varying based on the occupation, prolonged exposure to toxic air can be hazardous to laborers in both high and low concentrations. Common industrial gases and toxic dusts can cause damage to the lungs, resulting in serious conditions, cancers, and even death. So to help those most at risk, we are sharing common air pollutants based on specific occupations.

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