Respiratory tract infections: infection control in healthcare settings

Guidance on transmission routes and precautions in healthcare settings | PHE

B0010277 Rhinovirus

Image source: David S. Goodsell, RCSB Protein Data Bank – Wellcome Images // CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 

Image shows molecular model from X-ray diffraction data of a rhinovirus particle.

Avoiding transmission of acute respiratory infections in healthcare settings can prevent considerable mortality, morbidity and healthcare costs. Patients in healthcare settings, which include acute hospitals, outpatient clinics, A&E departments, specialised units and primary care, are often vulnerable because of age or chronic disease, and may suffer more severe disease or complications from acute respiratory infections.

This document summarises recommendations for the prevention and control of  acute respiratory infections in healthcare settings for clinical and public health colleagues. Preventing infection in healthcare settings requires the consistent application of infection control measures by healthcare workers and the involvement of the local infection control team. It also requires efforts to: maximise coverage of seasonal influenza vaccine among vulnerable groups and healthcare workers, and limit the spread of infection by visitors or infected staff, as well as general education and awareness-raising.

Read the full guidance here

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