Cleaning & Maintenance Management Online

Infection Control in the News

April 25, 2012

Infection control webinar archive now available

LATHAM, NY — An archive of the infection control webinar, held on March 22, 2012, is now available online.

If you were unable to attend the live broadcast of the first installment of the 2012 Critical Issues Online Seminar on infection control, the entire presentation is now available for download through our home page at

If you were one of the many in attendance, but would like a second listen, or would like to share what you heard with others, this is the way to go.

To download the archived presentation, click here.

Be sure to mark your calendars for the next installment in this year’s series on hard floor care, to be held May 24, 2012.

The seminar will be driven by your questions, so submit them today by e-mailing Managing Editor Aaron Baunee at

APIC, SHEA team up with HHS

WASHINGTON — The Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) and the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) are partnering with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to establish the 2012 Partnership in Prevention Award, according to a press release.

The nature and purpose of the Partnership in Prevention Award is to highlight and promote the work of one hospital that has achieved sustainable improvements based on the concepts of the "National Action Plan to Prevent Healthcare-Associated Infections: Roadmap to Elimination," the release stated.

According to the release, the award program intends to recognize prevention leaders in the U.S. acute-care community who have achieved wide-scale reduction and progress toward elimination of targeted HAIs.

It also intends to showcase the outstanding efforts of clinicians, hospital executives and hospital facilities that have improved clinical practice through utilization of evidence-based guidelines, achieved and maintained superior prevention results and advanced best practices to improve patient safety, the release noted.

The application deadline is August 1, 2012, the release added.

For more information or to apply, click here.

Click here to read the complete release.

Handwashing not second nature for docs

HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA — A few years ago, Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles took to shaming their least compliant employees: Doctors, according to The Chronicle Herald.

Anyone observed properly washing their hands was given a $10 Starbucks giftcard, while those who neglected to wash up had their hands dipped in a Petri dish.

According to the article, photographs of the bacteria found on those hands were distributed around the hospital as screensavers to serve as reminders of how many germs are found on hands.

Physicians at Cape Breton Regional Hospital could benefit from a similar program, as most seem to ignore the most basic infection prevention strategy, the article noted.

On Friday, the head of the province''s infection control center expressed that there are issues with all groups in the hospital, but that the doctors can be the hardest to get on the handwashing bandwagon, the article added.

Click here to read the complete article.

Study: Closing schools slows infections

WASHINGTON — Closing elementary and secondary schools can help slow the spread of infectious diseases and should be considered as a control measure during pandemic outbreaks, according to a press release.

A study from McMaster University used high-quality data regarding the incidence of influenza infections in Alberta during the 2009 H1N1 influenza A (swine flu) pandemic, the release stated.

According to the release, researchers show that, when schools closed for the summer, the transmission of infection from person to person was sharply reduced.

"Our study demonstrates that school-age children were important drivers of H1N1 transmission in 2009," said David Earn, lead author of the study published in Annals of Internal Medicine.

Alberta was the only Canadian province to continue extensive virologic testing throughout the first wave and continuously to the middle of the second wave of the 2009 pandemic, allowing researchers to identify the causes of changes in incidence as the pandemic progressed, the release noted.

"The data that we obtained were so good that our plots immediately revealed a huge drop in incidence when schools were closed for the summer," said Earn.

"Using state-of-the-art modeling, we then demonstrated that transmission was reduced by at least 50 percent," Earn added.

Click here to read the complete release.

Pairing masks and handwashing could slow flu spread

WASHINGTON — Masks, in addition to proper hand hygiene, could have a 75 percent success rate in stopping the spread of flu symptoms, according to Infection Control Today.

A new report from the University of Michigan (U-M) had found that there was a significant reduction in instances of the flu when hand hygiene was observed and surgical masks were worn in the dorms, the article stated.

According to the article, the so-called M-Flu study was the first of its kind and received international exposure when it was first launched back in 2006.

Students were assigned to groups who wore masks, wore masks and practiced hand hygiene or did neither, the article noted.

"This means masks and hand hygiene may be a good measure for preventing transmissions in crowded living quarters," said Allison Aiello, associate professor of epidemiology in the U-M School of Public Health.

"In a pandemic situation where compliance may be significantly higher than in controlled studies, masks and hand hygiene together may have even higher preventative implications," Aiello added.

Click here to read the complete article.