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International Infection Prevention Week

This year, International Infection Prevention week is October 16–22, and the theme is “Break the Chain of Infection.” The Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology wants to spread the message about how the public and healthcare professionals can help “Break the Chain of Infection” in healthcare settings and in the community. Do you know the basics of infection prevention? The number one thing you can do is focus on good hand hygiene! Clean hands, stop germs! It is one of the easiest and effective ways to prevent the spread of infections. At Mitchell-Hollingsworth, we understand that the safety of staff, residents, and visitors is of utmost importance. That's why we want to share with you some important information on infection prevention.

There are many different infectious germs inside and outside of the healthcare community and it’s important to stay safe and stop the spread of these germs. To prevent germs from infecting person after person, we must understand the cause of the spread and break the chain of infection. No matter the germ, there are 6 points of infection where the chain can be broken and the infection can be stopped from spreading. These 6 points include:

  • Infection agent- the germ that causes diseases

  • Reservoir- the place where the germ lives and can include people, animals, equipment, soil, and water

  • Portal of exit- the way the germ leaves the reservoir such as through a wound or splatter of body fluids including coughing, sneezing, and saliva

  • Means of transmission- the ways the germ can be passed on such as through direct contact, ingestion, or inhalation

  • Portal of entry- the way the germ can enter a host through broken skin, respiratory tract, mucous membranes, catheters, and tubes

  • Susceptible host- any person but most oftentimes those who are vulnerable with a weakened immune system or have invasive medical devices such as lines or airways

The best way to stop the spread of germs and therefore, diseases, is to interrupt this chain at any link. Ways to break the chain can include:

I Love Clean Hands, Infection Prevention and You

  • Washing hands frequently

  • Staying up to date on vaccines including flu vaccine

  • Covering coughs and sneezes and staying home when sick

  • Following rules for standard and contact isolation when someone has an infectious germ

  • Using protective equipment, the correct way

  • Cleaning and disinfecting the environment

  • Sanitizing medical instruments and equipment

  • Following safe medical and injection practices- one needle, one syringe, only one time

  • Using antibiotics, the correct way to prevent antibiotic resistance

  • Know when antibiotics are appropriate and when they are not

  • Make patient identification a priority: right drug, right time, right dose

For more information, visit If you think you know antibiotic safe practices, check out this quiz! You might be surprised!



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