Cleaning House, Part 3: Choosing a Disinfectant. What to Sic on the Bugs Making You Sick

by Erica Mitchell | April 8 2020

There is an astounding array of cleaning products available at your local store, online, and probably just sitting under your sink. Does it matter what you use to clean up after someone in your family has been ill? Absolutely. Today's post will help you pick the right product for your clean-up requirements.

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Beyond the Briefings: Who's Who in the Coronavirus Task Force

by Erica Mitchell | April 3 2020

Each day, the White House Coronavirus Task Force leads a press briefing to update the nation on the response to the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. After the President speaks, a number of members take to the podium to give updates or answer questions in their particular area of expertise. In today's post, we'll look at the 5 members of the 22-member team that have a medical background and describe their path towards their becoming household names.

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Cleaning House, Part 2: Know Your Household Pathogen

by Erica Mitchell | April 1 2020

Hospitals clean with great attention to what organisms caused illness within that patient room. The pathogen could be a virus, a bacteria, a fungus, or other microorganism. Each pathogen has its own unique characteristics that dictate the kind of cleanser needed, the frequency of cleaning required, and many other factors. Even though some of the organisms causing hospital-acquired infections are different than those that cause our typical community-acquired infections, we should use this same type of approach in our home cleaning. First, let’s learn about the viruses and bacteria that cause most of our sick days.

This post discusses diagnosis, symptoms, and details about illnesses that are not intended to be taken as medical advice. Always discuss health issues with your doctor.

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Welcome to Our World: How COVID-19 Introduces Everyone to Life as an Infection Preventionist

by Erica Mitchell | March 26 2020

The global coronavirus pandemic has offered a sudden welcome into the world infection preventionists face every day: The fight against pathogens. Protocols, vocabulary, equipment and data collection that used to be restricted to epidemiologists have now entered the everyday vernacular. In today's post, we'll look at some of those examples.

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Cleaning House, Part 1: Lessons from the Cleanest Hospitals

by Erica Mitchell | March 25 2020

Whether someone in your home has been sick, or you simply want to reduce the spread of outside germs into your quarantine environment, one of the first things you want to do is clean up. But what needs to be cleaned? And what cleaner is needed? These are some critical questions that can be answered with a little help from the cleaning professionals in a hospital. Let’s bring some of the lessons learned from hospital cleaning home as we clean house!

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Copper Kills SARS-CoV-2 In 4 Hours: Faster Than Any Other Surface Tested

by Erica Mitchell | March 20 2020

An early release of a new study in the New England Journal of Medicine tested the survivabilty of the virus that causes COVID-19 in air as well as on four surfaces: Cardboard, stainless steel, plastic, and copper. While the virus could be recovered after 24 hours on cardboard, and up to 72 hours on stainless steel and plastic, no virus could be recovered off of copper after 4 hours. This means that copper continuously kills the virus that is causing today's global pandemic, providing a surface option that could help mitigate the spread.

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Hands are Surfaces: When Do We Clean and When Do We Sanitize?

by Erica Mitchell | March 18 2020

As awareness of the COVID-19 virus increased, Americans everywhere rushed out to (try to) buy hand sanitizer. All of us now know that washing our hands is an essential part of not spreading the novel coronavirus. Why is hand hygiene so important in healthcare? What about in times of pandemic for the general population? Because our hands are one of the "surfaces" we interact with the most! Therefore, we have to keep them clean, and at critical times, sanitized. Today's post will explore how we clean and sanitize the most important surface: Hands.

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Flattening The Curve: It's All About Capacity

by Erica Mitchell | March 13 2020

We deal with the seasonal flu each year, right? Between October and March of every year, millions get infected, tens of thousands develop critical complications, some of whom even die. Now imagine that everyone who was going to get the flu got infected during the same month, essentially all at once. The impact on healthcare and the economy would be stunning. That's what we are trying to avoid with the spread of COVID-19: We are trying to "flatten the curve."

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Is A Virus Living or Non-Living? Yes. Part 2

by Erica Mitchell | March 13 2020

Virus-01In our last post, we explored the basics of virus structure, makeup, size, and shape. We determined that this infectious agent had characteristics of living organisms as well as nonliving matter. Today's post brings this information closer to home - How do they infect us and make us sick?

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Is a Virus Living or Non-Living? Yes. Part 1

by Erica Mitchell | March 12 2020

Virus-01What exactly is a virus? We know they are not susceptible to antibiotics. We know that they can cause anything from the common cold, the Spanish Flu Pandemic of 1918 to our most recent COVID-19. Viruses are called "infectious agents," but what are they, exactly? Turns out the answer is not simple.

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