Public Health Ontario celebrates National Infection Control Week
TORONTO, October 17, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - In light of recent outbreaks in Ontario's hospitals and communities, now is the time to remind everyone about the role each person can play in the continued practice of good infection prevention and control measures in health care settings. Whether you work in a health care setting, are a resident or patient, or a visitor, each of us can prevent the spread of germs that can lead to illness.
October 17-21 is National Infection Control Week in Canada. The week is an opportunity for infection control professionals to educate health care staff and the community at large about the importance of infection prevention, and to promote the important work being done by infection control professionals. Numerous local infection prevention and control activities will be happening during the week across the province. Public Health Ontario will be hosting a series of educational webinars each day on topics related to influenza, hand hygiene and outbreak management for health care professionals.
While infection control professionals are working to prevent outbreaks like C. difficile, the public has its own role in preventing the spread of infection. As we head toward flu season, there are several things you can do to protect yourself and others from infection:
...Wash your hands often or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Washing hands kills germs that can be spread easily. Just 20-30 seconds of your time can stop the transmission of germs.
...Contain your cough by covering your mouth with your sleeve, not with your hand.
...If feeling unwell, stay home and rest. You wouldn't want to get your colleagues sick!
...If sick, don't visit a loved one in hospital or long-term care facility. With weakened immune systems, the elderly and those in hospital are more at risk of getting sick.
...Get the flu shot. The flu shot is available across the province. Ask your doctor or local public health unit for more information about how flu shots can protect you and your loved ones' health.
Infection control week is just one way to remind us all of the important work that goes on at so many levels to prevent and control the spread of disease. But it's year-round and continued practice on the part of the public that will continue to support the work of infection control professionals across the province.
Public Health Ontario and its partners across the province are leaders in infection prevention and control. It publishes guidelines and standards on infection control practices, operates programs such as Just Clean Your Hands, works with partners such as public health units to promote infection control in health care settings and provides field support and training.
Public Health Ontario is an arm's-length government agency dedicated to protecting and promoting the health of all Ontarians and reducing inequities in health. As a hub organization, it links public health practitioners, front-line health workers and researchers to the best scientific intelligence and knowledge from around the world. For more information, please visit Public Health Ontario's website at www.oahpp.ca.