In order for an infection to occur, the following must be present:
- A pathogen (germ)
- A large amount of the pathogen (germ)
- A susceptible person (host)
- An entry site (where the germ gets in)
How do infections enter the body?
There are several ways that an infection can enter the body. They are:
Direct: when a person comes in direct contact with another person's blood or body fluids (this is the greatest risk of all). Example: Blood in an open wound.
Indirect: indirectly coming in contact with blood or body fluids like a contaminated surface or linen.
Airborne: the infection is spread through the air. Example: Coughing or sneezing.
Vector borne: when infection comes from animal or insect bites. Example: Rabies from a dog bite.
What do you do when you have been exposed to substances that could be infectious or disease bearing?
- Clean the exposed area thoroughly with anti-bacterial soap and water. If an open wound has been exposed clean it as well and attempt to make it bleed. If the eyes have been exposed flush the eyes.
- Secure the scene if there is a concern about it being safe. If the area needs to be cleaned use universal precautions when doing so.
- If a child has been injured or exposed to infectious material contact the parents immediately. Once the situation is under control the Respite Program should be notified as well.
REMEMBER THOROUGH AND CONSISTENT HANDWASHING IS ONE OF THE BEST WAYS TO PREVENT THE SPREAD OF INFECTION