Abigail L. Carlson, MD, MPH, Doctor, Mission Firstline, Division of Healthcare High quality Promotion, CDC
With help from Mia Frederick (contractor, TANAQ) a author for CDC’s Mission Firstline within the Division of Healthcare High quality Promotion.
Over the previous few months, there was a rise in respiratory virus exercise nationwide, inflicting extra pressure on an already overburdened healthcare system. On account of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve got seen atypical circulation of different respiratory viruses, together with influenza (flu), respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and rhinovirus/enteroviruses (usually causes of the frequent chilly).
Flu and RSV exercise peaked sooner than regular towards the tip of 2022, and though infections are on the decline, they’re nonetheless extremely prevalent. CDC knowledge present that almost 19,000 individuals have been admitted to the hospital for flu within the first two weeks of the brand new 12 months alone, and weekly hospitalization charges for RSV stay increased than most up-to-date seasons. Moreover, CDC is preserving a detailed eye on COVID-19 exercise, as the brand new Omicron subvariant XBB.1.5 continues to achieve floor within the US, inflicting about half of latest infections.
When these viruses are spreading in the neighborhood, the chance for unfold in healthcare settings will increase as properly. As we proceed with this difficult respiratory virus season, Mission Firstline needs to remind you there are issues you are able to do as a healthcare employee to forestall and gradual the unfold of infections in well being care. And the excellent news is, you have already got the data and instruments you want.
Utilizing the next an infection management actions collectively will assist defend sufferers, your self, and your colleagues from getting sick.
- Common and proper use of masks and respirators assist lower the unfold of respiratory viruses. NIOSH-approved respirators (together with N95s) supply the best degree of safety.
- Clear your arms. Palms are essential approach germs unfold in healthcare settings. Cleansing your arms commonly with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer or cleaning soap and water is an easy but efficient software to cease the unfold of germs.
- Clear and disinfect. Common environmental cleansing is a necessity. Foyer areas, cafeterias, and ready rooms are all high-traffic areas. It’s additionally necessary to disinfect reusable units and not reuse disposable gadgets.
- Observe bodily distancing. To restrict the unfold of germs, encourage bodily distancing – notably in shared areas. Additionally reap the benefits of telemedicine and use telehealth appointments for affected person care, when applicable. These methods considerably lower the chance of spreading sickness.
- Get vaccinated. Encourage everybody in your apply to get vaccinated towards flu and COVID-19 to cut back unfold & absenteeism. Latest research present that flu vaccination reduces the chance of sickness between 40% and 60% among the many total inhabitants throughout seasons.
- Guarantee HVAC upkeep is updated. Seek the advice of with services administration to make sure the heating, air flow, and air con, or HVAC, system is working effectively for correct air flow in your facility. Think about using high-efficiency particulate air, or HEPA, filters in small areas for an added layer of safety.
For extra data on an infection management for respiratory virus infections, equivalent to flu, RSV, and COVID-19, try the next assets from Mission Firstline and our companions:
Mission Firstline is a nationwide an infection management coaching collaborative, working to supply all healthcare professionals with the foundational an infection management data they want and deserve to guard themselves, their sufferers, their coworkers, and their communities. For extra data, trainings, and different an infection management assets, go to CDC Mission Firstline.