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One topic that has understandably had its fair share of news coverage lately is that of the Ebola Virus, a serious and usually fatal disease which has no licensed treatments or vaccines. Earlier this month, when a Spanish nurse from Madrid became the first person outside of West Africa to have contracted the disease, levels of panic began to rise. However, experts don’t believe that it will spread with in the UK, despite a British nurse in Sierra Leone becoming infected and flown to London for treatment.

It is possible to catch the Ebola Virus by coming into contact with the blood, bodily fluids or organs of an infected person, suggesting why the two cases of infection outside of Africa are related to nurses.

Although the worry about the Ebola Virus coming to the UK is concerning it is still not seen as a major threat with the Chief Medical Officer expecting only a “handful of cases” , closer to home the team at Spectrum work in partnership with health and social care clients to help manage their infection control on a daily basis.  We achieve this by supplying cleaning fluids proven to be effective against C Difficile, MRSA, Norwalk and so on.

Below are some tips on how to prevent such diseases and which products we recommend for the job.

Preventing Clostridium Difficile infections 

Clostridium Difficile bacteria can spread easily, particularly in healthcare environments such as a hospital or care home.

It may not be possible to prevent the bacteria spreading altogether, but a number of precautions can be taken to reduce the risk of infection.

Advice for visitors

If you are visiting a person in a healthcare environment who has diarrhea or a stomach upset, try to avoid taking any children under the age of 12 with you.

You should also:

  • wash your hands with soap and water when entering and leaving ward areas, especially after using the toilet or before eating
  • avoid healthcare environments if you are feeling unwell or have recently had diarrhea.
  • observe visiting hours and all visiting guidelines

Visit our online store here to see our products, MU04, Chlorine Tablets  and  A121AEV/A024EEV2 Safe Zone Virucidal Disinfectant Cleaner  which will kill C Diff spores and help prevent the spread of infection.

Healthcare environment 

Healthcare workers should wear disposable gloves and aprons when caring for anyone who has a C. Difficile infection. Whenever possible, people who are infected with C. Difficile should have their own room and toilet facilities to avoid passing the infection on to others.

Staff, patients and visitors should be encouraged to wash their hands regularly and thoroughly. Alcohol hand gel is not effective against C. Difficile spores, so the use of soap and water is essential.

Surfaces that may have come into contact with the bacteria or spores, such as toilets, the floor around toilets, bedpans and beds, should also be cleaned thoroughly with water and a cleaning product that contains bleach.

Standard infection control precautions

The following measures are essential in preventing cross infection and should be carried out at all times and with all patients.

  • Cover all cuts, abrasions and lesions – especially those on hands and forearms – with a waterproof dressing.

  •  Maintain hand hygiene:

      • before and after each patient contact

      • after handling blood and body fluids and items contaminated with blood and body fluids

      • prior to aseptic technique

      • after removing protective clothing/gloves

      • before handling invasive devices

      • following bed making

      • before handling food.

Soap and water are usually adequate, but alcohol hand rub can be used instead if hands are socially/visibly clean.  In the community, in the absence of soap and water, apply alcohol hand rub to socially clean hands.

Use the six step hand hygiene technique to ensure all areas of the hands are thoroughly cleaned. Do not forget to include wrists and dry well using disposable paper towels if soap and water have been used.

Also ensure you do the following:

  • general environment – horizontal surfaces, floors, toilets, sinks, baths (and walls if soiled)

  • patient-related equipment – beds, furniture, monitors, IV pumps, underside of commodes, chairs and ambulifts.

  • soft furnishings – curtains, bedding.

See our website and click on Hygiene Management Scheme to see where Spectrum can help you and your business in the fight against infection!