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Pathogen Persistence, Transmission and Cross-Contamination Prevention

Cross Contamination
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A plethora of studies in the medical literature has demonstrated that nearly everything in the healthcare setting — from surfaces, to healthcare workers' hands, to medical equipment and everything in between — can serve as a reservoir and a vector for opportunistic pathogenic organisms.

The acquisition of infections in the healthcare facility is aided by a number of important factors, including the persistence of some bacteria and viruses on inanimate objects and surfaces for weeks and months; the lack of hand hygiene and sanitation in healthcare facilities; breaches in evidence-based infection prevention practices; the growing volume of patients admitted in acute-care hospitals and increasing clinical acuity of patients; and the growing shortage of healthcare professionals and the tendency to cut corners by staff members.

This special digital issue reviews what the medical literature reports on vectors for disease transmission and provides suggestions for cross-contamination prevention.