How to help prevent the spread of viruses

How to help prevent the spread of viruses

  • Posted On : 4/1/2020 11:31 AM

At any given time we should be conscious of our habits to be sure that we do not get sick. This means practicing good hygiene habits by washing your hands regularly, especially after being in public. It also means being aware of covering your cough or sneeze. These are all responsible habits that we should be practicing to avoid the spread of germs, illnesses and viruses. 

With the spread of COVID-19 throughout the world, everyone is being a bit more aware of their own personal habits in person as well as in their limited exposure to the public. We all know the basics of keeping ourselves and others safe, but do we really know how viruses spread and can become a pandemic? 

What is a virus?

A virus occurs when germs enter the body and multiply. This then creates a reaction of the body to try and fight the multiplying germs. For a virus to be spread, there are three elements necessary:

  • Source: this is the place where the infectious agents live. This includes things like sinks, surfaces and human skin
  • Susceptible person: this is the person that will have the germs enter their body through one way or another 
  • Transmission: this is a way for the germs to spread from one person or surface to another

Germs cannot travel on their own, which means that they are dependent upon people to spread them around by contact, sprays and splashes, inhalation or sharps injuries. 

Preventing spread in the community 

The best way to prevent the spreading of germs or viruses within the community is to prevent contact with others. You should do your best not to come in contact with any bodily secretions including saliva, mucus and tears. This is how germs travel from one source to another. 

You should especially avoid contact with those who have signs of respiratory illness. Oftentimes you may be unaware that you have come into contact with these secretions because they can live on a surface for extended periods of time. That is why it is so important to practice proper and frequent hand washing. 

You should also be sure not to share any personal items with others in order to lower the chances of you encountering transmission. This means things like cell phones, keys, credit cards and other items you have frequent contact with.

Preventing spread in healthcare

Healthcare spaces are unable to practice social distancing, especially from those who are ill. This means that they must take extra measures to be sure that they are being as careful as possible not to continue the transmission of germs and viruses. 

One way to protect healthcare workers and other patients who may be immunocompromised is by calling ahead before going to the hospital. This gives hospital staff the opportunity to direct you to the correct area of the hospital so that you don’t come into contact with others who are susceptible.  

Throughout the facility, there should be supplies including hand sanitizer and tissues to help prevent the spread. Face masks should be provided for those who are showing symptoms of a respiratory infection. This will help prevent transmission of droplets from sneezes and coughs. Staff should also be protected with equipment including eye protection, gowns and gloves when dealing with those who are showing symptoms. 

The best way to avoid the transmission of viruses is to limit contact with those who are infected. That is difficult for nurses and physicians, but one way to make it a bit easier is with the proper preparation and storage. By implementing systems like nurse server cabinets, nurses will spend less time in the patient rooms, which means less time to come in contact with the germs. By allowing the nurse to stock supplies from outside the room with nurse server cabinets, there will be less chance of them touching something that has been contaminated. 

Being aware of how germs and viruses are spread is a great way to make sure you are doing everything you can to prevent transmission by practicing proper habits and implementing storage like nurse server cabinets. Being aware of your own habits can prevent the continuous spread of disease.

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