What Will Happen When Flu Season Meets the COVID-19 Pandemic?

In a nutshell… As the Northern Hemisphere flu season approaches amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, many of the same infection control measures used during the pandemic could help reduce flu cases. This article compares the two viral illnesses and the actions people can take to help prevent them.   What will happen when the 2020 flu

Airborne Coronavirus: What We Know Can Help Prevent Illness

In a nutshell… This article reports on a recent virtual workshop on the airborne transmission of coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). Based on the state of knowledge of this mode of virus transmission, experts outlined recommendations for modifying human behavior and indoor spaces to help avoid coronavirus infection.   Still image from a “shadowgraph” video of the respiratory

The Battle against Coronavirus: Surface Disinfection with Electrostatic Sprayers

In a nutshell… This article introduces electrostatic sprayers as an efficient method of applying liquid chemical disinfectants to surfaces. This technology may have significant advantages in helping to control infection during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.   Disinfectant is applied to exercise equipment through an electrostatic sprayer using a backpack model. Sprayer systems are available in

Using Public Restrooms Safely during the Coronavirus Pandemic

In a nutshell… This article presents recommendations on using public restrooms safely during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. These include classic infection control measures, such as good hand hygiene, as well as strategies unique to avoiding the coronavirus, including wearing face masks to avoid its transmission through airborne droplets.   As we venture out of our

Bacteria-sniffing Dog Helps Identify Surfaces to Disinfect to Help Reduce C. diff Infections

In a nutshell… This is the story of Harley, a working beagle who is trained to identify Clostridioides difficile (aka “C. diff”) bacteria on surfaces. Harley prompts staff in a North Carolina medical center to disinfect contaminated surfaces with chlorine bleach, helping to reduce the facility’s C. diff infection rate.   Three cheers for sweet

Cleaning and Disinfecting Against Coronavirus: Are We Doing It Right?

In a nutshell… A new U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) survey shows some consumers are misusing cleaners and disinfectants in their efforts to avoid COVID-19 (coronavirus). This practice can cause injury and may have led to an increase in calls to U.S. Poison Control Centers in the first quarter of 2020. Consumers

How to Clean and Disinfect Surfaces as We Return to Life as We Knew It

In a nutshell… This article discusses guidance from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on cleaning and disinfecting surfaces as Americans return to pre-pandemic life. Surfaces addressed include those in public spaces, workplaces, businesses, schools, and homes.   As areas of the United States begin opening

Can Coronavirus Spread through Defective Bathroom Sewage Pipes?

In a nutshell… New concerns have arisen about the potential spread of the coronavirus COVID-19 through improperly connected bathroom sewage pipes in an apartment building in Hong Kong. This article discusses how this new type of transmission could take place, which if confirmed, emphasizes the importance of maintaining properly installed residential drain plumbing to help

Germ Prevention: Don’t Regift Germs This Holiday Season

In a nutshell… Holiday gatherings are prime locations for “re-gifting” germs. A free, downloadable Cover Your Cough coloring page from the CDC illustrates strategies to prevent the spread of germs. Children may color the germ prevention page and learn to cover coughs and sneezes and to wash their hands correctly. This article provides directions for

Preventing the Spread of C. diff Bacteria

“C. diff” is the antimicrobial-resistant bacteria Clostridioides difficile.1 It causes symptoms ranging from diarrhea to life-threatening colon inflammation. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), C. diff causes about half a million illnesses and nearly 15,000 deaths annually. People of any age may become sick. C. diff infections cost Americans about $5.4 billion annually. C. diff is passed from person to person by the oral-fecal route. That is why it is important to wash hands thoroughly after using the bathroom and before preparing or eating meals.