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News Release

Help "break the chain of transmission" during National Infection Control Week - Oct. 17 to 21

WHITBY, ON October 17, 2016 - Durham Region Health Department encourages the public to learn more about practising infection prevention and control during National Infection Control Week, Oct. 17 to 21. This year, the Health Department will focus on teaching everyone how to “break the chain of transmission” by highlighting the work of infection control professionals (ICPs) and the week’s national theme, “ICP - The Core of Infection Prevention and Control”.

The core of infection prevention and control programs in health care settings is the infection control professional. ICPs serve as leaders, mentors and role models for the profession, by acquiring and maintaining infection prevention and control knowledge and skills, and by developing, evaluating and improving infection prevention and control processes within their facilities.

ICPs provide education and collaborate within organizations to deliver the message that infection prevention and control can be easily adapted and implemented. The IPC’s message is most effective when everyone works toward the same common goal: preventing the spread of infection to clients, patients and residents, as well as health care providers, visitors and others. The goals of these initiatives are to reduce transmission of infectious illness, improve the quality of care and decrease costs within all health care settings.

To highlight the work of ICPs, the Health Department will be promoting infection prevention and control by educating Durham Region staff and residents on ways to “break the chain of transmission”, in fun and interactive ways that encourage hand hygiene and other infection prevention and control measures. A public display will be available throughout the week at Durham Regional Headquarters, 605 Rossland Rd. E., Whitby. The display is open to the public from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Health Department staff will be on hand to answer questions on Oct. 19 and 20 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

“As we enter cold and flu season, the Health Department will continue to emphasize the ongoing need for reminders about basic infection prevention and control measures,” explained Brenda Kwan, Manager, Environmental Health with the Health Department. “There is no doubt that the most significant factor in controlling the spread of infectious diseases is practising proper hand hygiene. Measures such as handwashing help to lower the risk of getting a disease and spreading it to others.

“Everyone can help prevent the spread of infections by being involved. National Infection Control Week is just one week, but we should all practise prevention measures throughout the year.”

Effective infection prevention and control measures include:

  • Cleaning your hands frequently with soap and water, or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if water and soap isn’t available.
  • Covering your nose and mouth with a tissue, or use your sleeve when you cough or sneeze. Dispose used tissue in a waste basket and wash your hands.
  • Staying home if you have symptoms such as fever, cough, sneezing or vomiting and diarrhea that may indicate an infection.
  • Getting the annual flu shot and keeping your immunizations up-to-date.

The Health Department works with professionals in all facility settings such as hospitals, long-term care homes, retirement homes, child care centres and schools, to heighten awareness about the importance of the basics of infection prevention and control in helping to reduce the risk of infection and disease outbreaks.

For more information on infection prevention and control, please call the Environmental Help Line at 905-723-3818 or 1-888-777-9613.

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Media inquiries:

The Regional Municipality of Durham:
Glendene Collins - Health Department, 905-668-7711 ext. 2999, or glendene.collins@durham.ca

If this information is required in an accessible format, please contact the Accessibility Co-ordinator at 1-800-372-1102 extension 2009.

For more information, please contact Health Department.