Infection control
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1  General Category / H5N1/Bird Flu/Avian Flu and Pandemic planning / ANTI-VIRAL (SWINE FLU) MASKS AVAILABLE on: May 07, 2009, 07:01:29 am
There has been some difficulty in acquiring P3 anti-viral masks. We have secured a supply on allocation. We can also recommend a supplier of products tested and proven disinfectant cleaners that kill the flu virus. This includes wipes, sprays, disinfectant cleaner and hand sanitisers. These product are from an accredited and proven supplier to the NHS.
2  General Category / H5N1/Bird Flu/Avian Flu and Pandemic planning / Good website for international news on Bird Flu on: February 03, 2008, 05:57:59 am
If you wish to get a global perspective on Bird Flu then this is an excellent website:
3  General Category / NOROVIRUS (NORWALK VIRUS) / Norovirus infections reach record high on: January 12, 2008, 05:16:49 am
Anubis Healthcare are leaders in the prevention of Norovirus infections.

Vomiting bug to get worse

Fears that infection will spread as schools and offices reopen
Over 100 hospital wards closed

    * Jo Revill, Whitehall editor
    * The Observer,
    * Sunday January 6 2008
About this article
This article appeared in the Observer on Sunday January 06 2008 on p2 of the UK news section. It was last updated at 23:43 on January 05 2008.

Infections from the debilitating norovirus stomach bug will peak this week as millions return to work after the holidays and spread the germs, the government has warned. People are advised to protect themselves by washing their hands thoroughly at all times.

The virus, which was responsible for closing more than 100 hospital wards last week, can also be guarded against by disinfecting bathrooms and washing cups and dishes properly.

Health Minister Ivan Lewis said: "We want to get the message across to everyone that washing your hands properly with soap and warm water, or even an alcohol gel, can help reduce the spread of infections and help protect you, your family and those around you.'

NHS workers are also urged to be vigilant and to remember the guidelines of the 'cleanyourhands campaign'.

With noroviruses, toilets are particularly important as many of the germs are passed on via toilet seats that are not cleaned properly. Some studies suggest that as many as 50 per cent of women and 75 per cent of men fail to wash their hands after visiting the bathroom.

Disinfecting surfaces in bathrooms and kitchens is also important, because the virus can become airborne when someone is sick. Bleach-based cleaning agents should be used, and any food which has been handled by a person with the virus should be thrown out.

Doctors estimate that more than 100,000 people a week are catching the infection - and the rate may peak this week as the virus takes the opportunity to spread in the workplace and classrooms. Reported cases of the illness from early December are at a five-year-high, but the real figure is likely to be much greater as most sufferers do not seek medical attention. People struck down have been urged by GPs not to go back to work until the symptoms have fully disappeared.

Dr Darren Simpson, a GP in Bradford, said his practice had seen a large number of people with norovirus in recent weeks. 'Very few people follow the advice of staying away from work, often due to unsympathetic bosses. But it's the worst time of year to catch it as a lot of places are understaffed due to leave and bank holidays so there is increased pressure to attend work if you can.'

Noroviruses are members of the Caliciviridae family of viruses which cause gastroenteritis, or an inflammation of the stomach and the large intestine. The infection is not normally dangerous but the very young and very old are most at risk of complications from dehydration.

The bug can be spread by contact with an infected person, through contaminated food or water, or by contact with contaminated surfaces or objects. But it is also able to survive on practically any surface, including glassware, sinks, doorknobs and railings. A person who puts a hand to their mouth after touching a contaminated surface can be infected.

Doctors have advised patients that as soon as symptoms appear they become contagious to others, and that they remain infectious for at least three days, and often longer, after they recover.
4  General Category / MRSA / Panton - Valentine Leukocidin (PVL) MRSA on: December 04, 2007, 01:33:55 am
Incidences of this relatively new strain of MRSA are known to be rising.
A new pattern of disease due to Panton - Valentine Leukocidin (PVL) - positive strains of Staphylococcus aureus is emerging in the UK and world-wide. PVL is a toxin, which destroys white blood cells and is carried by <2% of clinical isolates of S. aureus. PVL can be detected in both meticillin sensitive S. aureus (MSSA) and meticillin resistant S. aureus (MRSA). To date the majority of isolates causing infection in the UK have been MSSA. Community-associated MRSA (CA-MRSA) are more likely to produce PVL than hospital-associated MRSA. PVL-positive S. aureus are normally associated with necrotising pyogenic cutaneous infections and occasionally with cellulitis or tissue necrosis. However, they can cause other severe invasive infections such as septic arthritis, bacteraemia, purpura fulminans or community-acquired necrotising pneumonia.
PVL-producing strains of MRSA have been seen in the UK before - however, the small numbers of cases reported have usually been in the community rather than a hospital setting. This outbreak is the first time transmission and deaths due to this strain are known to have occurred in a healthcare setting in England and Wales.

PVL-producing strains are more commonly contracted in the community and generally affect previously healthy young children and young adults - this contrasts with the so called 'hospital-associated MRSA' strains which do not produce PVL and are more commonly associated with causing wound infections and blood-poisoning in more elderly hospitalised patients.

Dr Angela Kearns, an MRSA expert with the Health Protection Agency, said: "When people contract PVL-producing strains of MRSA, they usually experience a skin infection such as a boil or abscess. Most infections can be treated successfully with everyday antibiotics but occasionally a more severe infection may occur."

"The Health Protection Agency is advising the hospital on outbreak control measures, and will continue to monitor MRSA infection nationally."
5  General Category / NOROVIRUS (NORWALK VIRUS) / Norovirus link on: December 02, 2007, 08:16:00 am
New Norovirus link.
6  General Category / ANUBIS CONSULTING / ANUBIS CONSULTING LTD on: September 05, 2007, 01:17:15 pm
Anubis Consulting Ltd are  one of the UKs leading specialists in infection control
We provide full infection control training and documentation which is statutory and mandatory under the Health and Safety at Work act and COSHH regulations.
Information and guidance on Pandemic planning is included in the training and we provide a range of approved products to assist in infection control and the effective control of the H5N1 virus.
In addition we can recommend and approved supplier a full range of consumables, equipment and paper disposables.

Please email
7  General Category / Have your say / Fortnightly refuse collections may cause health risk on: August 19, 2007, 05:37:51 am
This is not necessarily a funeral or embalming issue but it is quite interesting.

'Councils are being bullied by the Government into axing weekly rubbish collections, despite this clearly being against the public's wishes. People don't want bags of rubbish hanging around for days on end, bringing bad smells and attracting vermin' -- Eric Pickles, Tory Environment spokesman

Unfortunately too many councils are abusing the public trust, using recycling as an excuse to cut public service costs, whilst at the same time pushing local taxes up year-on-year at rates at least double that of the prevailing rate of inflation. There are seven major points to be carefully considered

(1) The new report, published in the journal Science of the Total Environment, found rubbish left out for longer periods produced tens of thousands more spores. Dr Tom Kosatsky, a medical epidemiologist at McGill University in Montreal , said: "If rubbish is decaying for two weeks and is heated by warm weather, it provides a fertile breeding ground for spores. Exposure to fungi on this level can trigger sore throats, respiratory symptoms, faintness, weakness and depression, asthma and other allergic reactions."

(2) In the 13-week study academics at the University of Northampton swabbed wheelie bins that had held waste for two weeks. Results showed a raft of potentially deadly bacteria, including crippling stomach bugs like salmonella, e.coli, legionella and listeria. Rotting food also proved a fertile breeding ground for flies.
Recent investigations have shown the presence in dustbins of Yersinia pestis also called Pasteurella pestis, a bacterium that causes the black plague and is generally transmitted from rats to humans by the rat flea Xenopsylla cheopis.

(3) An increase in disease spread by the fly population. To look at one simple fact, the rate of breeding. If all the eggs laid by a housefly were to mature, then one fly could have 320,000 grandchildren. Fortunately only a small proportion of eggs survive, but enough do to become an intolerable nuisance - and a serious threat to health.

The common housefly, more than any other flying insect is such a menace because it is a dirty feeder. The housefly has an extraordinary and unique habit: it alternates between filth and clean food, generally human food. Every meal consists of two courses: one course is any kind of garbage, often sewage: for the second course the favourite dishes are milk, sugar or anything sweet or fatty. Among the pathogens commonly transmitted by house flies are Salmonella, Shigella, Campylobacter, Escherichia, Enterococcus, Chlamydia, and many other species that cause illness. These flies are most commonly linked to outbreaks of diarrhoea and shigellosis, but also are implicated in transmission of food poisoning, typhoid fever, dysentery, tuberculosis, anthrax, ophthalmia, and parasitic worms

(4) An unacceptable result is an increase in the rat population. Based on returns from over 300 local councils, there has been a 69% increase in vermin infestation. The National Pest Technicians Association puts the problem down to fortnightly refuse collection and associated problems of overflowing bins, fly-tipping, rubbish left at the side of bins and the growing problem of junk food dropped in the street.

(5) During the hot summer the increase in bad smells from rubbish decaying in bins The advice from a government quango to councils is to introduce fortnightly waste collection in the winter so as to minimise the smell and lessen public opposition.
This advice flies in the face of advice from the WHO which recommends in temperate climates like the UK waste should be collected at least once a week.

(6) HANDLING rubbish that has been left out for a fortnight before being collected can increase the risk of health problems including asthma and nausea, a study has found. Researchers found that the level of bacteria and fungal spores in the air above bins that had not been emptied for two weeks was more than 10 times that in locations where there was a weekly collection. Exposure to these conditions could put the health of operatives at risk

(7) Another result of the fortnightly collection is a dramatic increase in fly-tipping. Obviously someone has to cover the cost of fly-tipping collection. Lord Rooker, the environment minister, said "Councils that introduce fortnightly rubbish collection will have to have a programme to tackle fly-tipping," He was concerned that there had been an increase in fly-tipping where collections were fortnightly.

A full microbiological risk assessment is necessary to ensure public safety before contemplating any change to the refuse collection system
8  General Category / CLOSTRIDIUM DIFFICILE / New fears of 'fatal bug' threat on: August 04, 2007, 07:20:20 am
 New fears of 'fatal bug' threat

A further 32,707 cases in Scotland and Wales were not reported to the Health Protection Agency (HPA) because it only covers England , the MP says in the report C-Difficile - The Complete Germ Map of Britain.

Figures he obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, reveal that C.difficile infects more than eight times as many people in British hospitals as MRSA and kills twice as many.

The infection causes diarrhoea ranging from mild cases to severe illness and can be fatal. Elderly patients treated with broad-spectrum antibiotics are at the greatest risk.

This first comprehensive study of the bug across Britain reveals the "true extent" and "shocking reality" of the C.difficile epidemic in British hospitals, the MP claims.

He said: "This investigation reveals that the number of C-Diff cases in Britain 's hospitals has been dramatically underestimated with the Government simply ignoring anyone who contracts the infection, but happens to be under the age of 65.

"I'm calling on the Government to recognise and then get to grips with the true scale of the problem.

"The Government is constantly trying to convince us that the NHS is safe in their hands, but C-Diff infections continue to rise across the entire age range and are up by over 40% in the last three years alone."

He added: "It is an absolute scandal that I had to go these lengths to get the true figures revealed."

Cases of MRSA are around 7,000 a year and falling, but figures show C.difficile is a growing problem as the rate of infections continues to soar, his study claims.

There were 66,005 more cases last year compared to 47,034 in 2004 and official figures for 2006 show 4,752 people died from it - compared to 1,774 from MRSA .

This is a rise of 25% on the previous year and a massive increase of 111% since 2004, with 181 cases now a day, the report says.

Over the past three years, 176,450 have contracted the bug after going into hospitals for routine procedures.

The HPA's previous requirement for statistics only in the over-65s meant more than 25,000 were not officially recorded between 2004 and 2006, according to the study.

Mandatory surveillance of the infection was introduced in England in 2004 but it was only in April this year that Acute NHS Trusts were told to report all cases to the HPA, it says.

Reporting cases of C.difficile in Scotland and Wales was voluntary until recently but there is still an upward trend in the number of infections. There were around 5,000 in Scotland in 2005, a 21% increase on the previous year, the study shows.

A mandatory surveillance system is currently being introduced but will only apply to over-65s. In Wales , a mandatory system has been in operation since January 2005 but again only applies to the over-65s.

Mr Shapps used Freedom of Information requests to every Acute Trust in England to obtain the results of all reported C.difficile cases.

Desk research was used to get the figures for Scotland and Wales .
9  General Category / HAND HYGIENE / Hand hygiene on: April 15, 2007, 08:54:39 am
You will have seen a great deal about the use of alcohol hand sanitisers in the NHS as part of the battle to reduce Hospital Aquired Infections.
It's not that straightforward an issue and I'll try and flag up some of the basic principals here.
There's been a rush of new products being sold but care needs to be taken as most them aren't fully effective, they haven't been independently tested and accredited and they can be rough on your hands which discourages proper use.
Here are some pointers.
1. Only used a product that is approved to the european standard EN1500. This is important. These products have been proven to remove all major pathogens in under 30 seconds. If they don't have this standard they probably don't work effectively.
2. Wearing gloves is only partially effective. The reason is that if you have bugs on you hands before you put them on they breed inside the glove. You should sanitise your hands before you put them on.
3. Washing is only partially effective and although you should wash to remove contamination such as blood or dirt even bactericidal hand soap only removes about 65% of bugs. You should, however only use alcohol sanitiser on visibly clean hands as sanitisers aren't designed to clean, only sanitise.
4. Only use alcohol sanitisers that contain skin conditioners as the cheaper ones dry your hands and discourage proper use.
5. Always try and remember to think 'what have I just done and what am I going to do next'? If in any doubt sanitise your hands.
6. Learn how to use the products correctly it's easy to miss bits and you may still have bugs on your hands.

You can email me and I'll send you the proper method. or download the information directly from this link:
10  General Category / MRSA / PVL-MRSA interesting press release on: April 15, 2007, 08:48:48 am
According to the Health Protection Agency there were 106 cases of PVL-MRSA in England and Wales in 2005.
11  General Category / CLOSTRIDIUM DIFFICILE / Clostridium Difficile on: April 15, 2007, 08:45:48 am
You will have seen that this particular bug has been in the news lately.

Here is some information that may be useful.

1.   It is a bacterium that is part of the normal flora of the gut in 3% of adults and is usually kept under control by the other bacteria in the gut.

2.   Problems occur when there is an imbalance between the bacteria in the gut, this can happen when taking a course of antibiotics.

3.   As Clostridium difficile forms spores, it can survive for long periods in hospital wards contaminating the environment, equipment and hands of staff and patients resulting in cross-infection and outbreaks of infection.

4.   Symptoms include explosive watery diarrhoea, abdominal pain and fever.

5.   These symptoms usually resolve if the course of antibiotics is stopped.

6.   Clostridium difficile can be treated with other antibiotics.

7.   Standard infection control precautions, along with transmission-based precautions, should be taken to prevent cross-infection between patients.

8.   Cleaning of the environment is essential to reduce the risk of cross-infection.

9.   Activ8 is proven to be effective and should be used as part of a cleaning protocol, removing spores surviving in the environment.

12  General Category / NOROVIRUS (NORWALK VIRUS) / Norovirus blog on: April 15, 2007, 08:24:14 am
This makes interesting reading and it's also a good source of information.
13  General Category / NOROVIRUS (NORWALK VIRUS) / Huge saving and full occupancy on: April 12, 2007, 03:45:04 am
During the short time we worked to eradicate Norovirus from the large hotel mentioned in an earlier posting we have achieved notable success. The general manager believes we saved the hotel 150000 in lost bookings and they had full occupancy of 530 guests over the Easter period. During that time there was not a single incidence of Norovirus infection. On any level this is a success story and it proves that our methods and products must be effective. For more information please phone 01226 741812 or email:
14  General Category / Links and places of interest / Norovirus forum on: April 06, 2007, 12:11:41 pm
We have established a new forum specifically for Norovirus issues.
Please join and help develop it.
15  General Category / Welcome to the infection control forum / Welcome. Please become a member on: April 03, 2007, 06:15:50 pm
Welcome to the forum. As a member you can make posts, create topics and advertise if you wish. This forum will be moderated however as long as it's nothing inappropriate you can use as and when you like.
We will keep it up to date and informative and if you have an enquiry or you wish to ask a specific question please do it here.
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