An infectious disease is a type of transmissible disease. An infectious disease can be particularly dangerous because it can be transmitted in a number of different ways:
- Physical contact with an infected person
- Casual contact with secretions from an infected individual
- Casual contact with objects touched by an infected person
- Airborne transmission
Nearly all major epidemics and pandemics in human history have been caused by infectious diseases. This underscores the need to take extreme care in protecting against the spread of these types of diseases. The process of protecting against infectious diseases can necessitate professional infectious disease cleanup.
Cleaning, Disinfecting, Sanitizing: Know the Difference
If you are (understandably) like many people (if not most), you may not fully appreciate the differences between the terms cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing. In fact, when used in regard to combating the spread of infectious disease, this trio of words have unique meanings, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Cleaning removes dirt, debris, impurities, and some germs (but does not kill them) from surfaces and objects.
Disinfecting reduces germs on surfaces and objects.
Sanitizing destroys germs on surfaces and objects, rendering a surface or object safe from infectious pathogens.
When it comes to fighting infectious diseases, eliminating these bacteria and viruses is the objective. Thus, sanitization is the ultimate remedy (and the course of action utilized by professional infectious disease cleanup specialists).
Professional Infectious Disease Cleanup Process
Professional infectious disease cleanup is a comprehensive, thorough, and safe process. Eliminating infectious disease in a home (or place of business) commences with ensuring that all safety protocols are fully in place. At the heart of professional safety, protocols are appropriate personal protective equipment, of PPE. At a minimum, when remediating an infectious disease situation, the PPE must include:
- Mask or respirator
- Uniform, apron, or smock
Once safety protocols are in place, the first phase of infectious disease cleanup is the cleaning of surfaces, objects, and other items or spaces that potentially may be contaminated. As was mentioned, this process is undertaken to remove dirt and debris and allow for more direct and thorough contact between infectious bacteria or viruses and sanitizing agents. When the initial cleaning process is completed, the sanitization of the premises is undertaken. Through the use of medical grade chemicals, the sanitization process eliminates dangerous bacteria or viruses. This renders any previously contaminated space safe as defined by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In some instances, there can be an odor issue associated with an area contaminated by infectious bacteria and viruses. Thus, because the professional infectious disease cleanup process is comprehensive, deodorization may be required. The ultimate objective of infectious disease cleanup is to eradicate bacteria and viruses and restore the premises to a fully safe, usable, or livable condition.
Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus or MRSA Infection
In examining infectious disease cleanup and protecting against infection, MRSA demands special attention in California and across the United States. MRSA can result in a type of staph infection that doesn’t respond readily or at all to antibiotics. As a consequence, MRSA is classified as a potentially deadly superbug.
Life-threatening conditions associated with an MRSA infection include:
- Necrotizing fasciitis: flesh-eating condition impacting deeper layers of the skin
- Toxic shock syndrome: systemic infection
- Necrotizing pneumonia: flesh-eating infection of the lungs
- Osteomyelitis: debilitating bone infection.
- Sepsis: infection of the bloodstream
- Endocarditis: infection of the heart
At this juncture in time, a person is more likely to be infected with MRSA while hospitalized. MRSA has been known to spread rapidly through hospitals, impacting many patients. However, MRSA infections are now ever more commonly occurring outside of medical settings, including in a person’s home. Because of the truly dire nature of an MRSA, if a family member or even a guest in your home is diagnosed with the infection, you must give serious thought to the need for thorough infectious disease cleanup.
A person becomes infected with MRSA bacteria through a break in the skin. This includes even a tiny nick or small abrasion.
Not only is MRSA bacteria daunting to combat when a person is infected, but it is also virulent in its ability to live for extended periods of time on surfaces of different types. For example, MRSA can be found on the skin and in the nose of individuals, including people who are and are not infected by the bacteria. In addition, MRSA bacteria can survive for months on inanimate objects, including hard surfaces of various types and doorknobs.
The Lowly Flu – Isn’t Really Lowly
The flu is caused by one strain or another of the highly infectious influenza virus. Annually in the United States, between 3 to 11 percent of the population will suffer symptomatic flu. These are individuals who will be infected by the influenza virus and will suffer flu symptoms. In addition, upwards to an additional 10 percent more of the population in the country will contract the influenza virus but will be asymptomatic. In other words, they will not suffer any of the symptoms associated with the flu. Nonetheless, because they carry the influenza virus, they are capable of infecting other people.
The flu virus is largely spread through the year. With that said, it can also be transmitted if a person touches a surface on which the virus has landed. Typically, this occurs when an individual touches a surface and then puts his or her fingers to the mouth, nose, or eyes. Although the flu virus does not survive on a surface as long as MRSA bacteria, it can live for up to 48 hours and infect people during the process, according to the CDC.
Individuals particular susceptible to potentially life-threatening influenza infection (or case of the flu) include:
- Elderly men and women
- Infants and younger children
- People with suppressed immune systems (like AIDS patients or people undergoing cancer treatment)
You must understand that “the flu” is not something to be treated in a cavalier manner, particularly if you’re someone in your home that falls into one of these categories. The worst worldwide pandemic of any kind in the past 100 years involved the flu. At its height, one-third of the world’s population was infected. 50 million people across the globe died; 675,000 people in the U.S.A. died. The hardest hit were people under the age of five or over the age of 65.
Candida Auris: There Really Is a Fungus Among Us – and It’s Deadly
In recent months, an infectious deadly superbug known as Candida Auris has been making headlines and been the source of alerts from health agencies around the world, including in the United States. Indeed, Candida Auris, a fungus, is classified as a global health threat. The dangerous fungus is also known as C. Auris
Candida Auris was initially diagnosed in the United States in 2013, in Canada four years before that. Candida Auris can cause what is called candidiasis, which is a potentially life-threatening fungal infection. A Candida Auris infection is capable of manifesting in a person’s central nervous system, bloodstream, and in many different internal organs.
The CDC maintains that Candida Auris is highly dangerous for a number of reasons. These include the fact that Candida Auris is proven highly resistant to the various drug treatments normally utilized to combat Candida infections.
In addition, Candida Auris many times is not properly diagnosed. As a consequence, improper treatments are undertaken that do nothing to address the real issue, allowing a Candida Auris infection to worsen unabated.
Finally, the CDC alerts that Candida Auris presents a significant danger because The number of outbreaks in hospitals and other healthcare settings – including skilled care facilities – has been on the increase. Moreover, there has been an uptick in the number of diagnosis being made of individuals that contracted Candida Auris outside of a hospital or other medical setting.
Candida Auris is contracted in two primary ones. First, a person can become infected with the Candida Auris fungus if he or she comes into contact with a person who carries or is infected with it. Bear in mind that a person can be a carrier of the Candida Auris without being infected with the fungus. This technique is known as being colonized with Candida Auris.
Candida Auris can also be contracted through the air and by contact with spores deposited on surfaces of objects. Candida Auris is like any other fungus and can survive in spore form for what can prove to be an extended period of time.
Certain categories of individuals are more susceptible to a Candida Auris infection. These include:
- Individuals with poorly controlled diabetes
- People undergoing chemotherapy
- AIDS patients
- Individuals with HIV
- Individuals who recently went through major surgery
- People with a medical condition that decrease immunity
- Long term kidney dialysis patients
- People who use urinary catheters
- People who use intravenous catheters
- Individuals taking broad-spectrum antibiotics
- Individuals using broad-spectrum antifungal agents
- People hospitalized for extended periods of time
- People residing in skilled care facilities
If someone who has been in your own residence has been diagnosed with a Candida Auris, it behooves you to immediately undertake infectious disease cleanup. Due to the dangers associated with exposure to infection by Candida Auris, you are wise to seek the assistance of an experienced, well-trained infectious disease cleanup specialist.
Clostridium Difficile Bacterial Infection
Another infectious disease that has been snagging headlines and is the focus of concern for health agencies in the United States and elsewhere is the Clostridium difficile bacterial infection. Clostridium difficile has been a long-time concern in hospitals and long-term care with patients who take antibiotics. Historically, the use of antibiotics has made individuals more susceptible to contracting the Clostridium difficile bacterial infection. In addition, historically older people were are a greater risk for contracting a Clostridium difficile infection.
With that said, in recent times, individuals are who’ve not been on antibiotics are contracting Clostridium difficile with alarming frequency. In addition, a growing number of younger people are becoming infected with bacteria.
The reality is that Clostridium difficile, also known as C. diff, is found nearly everywhere. Clostridium difficile is present in water, air, and soil. The bacteria are found in animal and human feces. Clostridium difficile is also present in the intestines of a small number of otherwise healthy people. These are individuals that experience no ill-effects whatsoever from the bacteria, according to world-renowned Mayo Clinic.
If you or a member of your family fall into one of the categories of individuals that might be more susceptible to Clostridium difficile, or of someone in your home has been infected by the bacteria, a thorough, professional infectious disease cleaning is recommended. If a loved one was hospitalized and appeared to become infected with Clostridium difficile while in the hospital, remediation of that person’s home may also be in order. A person who contracts Clostridium difficile once becomes far more susceptible to the bacteria going forward.
Perhaps nowhere than in regard to infectious disease does the long-used cliché “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” resonate more significantly. In the final analysis, the best way to combat infectious disease is to take a proactive stance against preventing its spread in the first instance. For this vital reason, if you’ve concerns about the risk of infectious disease in your home or business, consulting with an experienced infectious disease cleanup specialist is a very wise decision.