Infectious diseases in the health care sector

At ABENA we help health care professionals to prevent the spread of infections.

With a mission of working alongside health care professionals to reduce the number of infectious diseases, we do this by sharing knowledge and best practice. 

We help you be aware of common infectious diseases and how to prevent them. In this way you minimize the risk of contamination and improve quality of life for patients, health care professionals, and caregivers around the world. 

Infectious diseases occur often in health care institutions because of the close contact between caregivers and patients.

What are infectious diseases?

An infection is nothing but the transmission of microbes. Infectious diseases are caused by organisms such as bacteria, viruses, fungi or parasites. They can be spread from person to person, from animal to human, via contaminated food, or from an infected human or animal through a ‘vector” such as a mosquito or tick. 

When an organism enters the body, most healthy people fight it off with their immune systems, while others are infected with the disease. However, those with weakened immune systems are especially susceptible.

Whether someone is infected and gets sick also depends on, among other things, the amount and aggressiveness of the microbe. The more aggressive the microbe, the greater the chance of becoming ill.

Multidrug resistant organisms (MDRO)

Multi-drug resistant organisms (MDRO) are a growing problem in the health care sector. What is antibiotics resistance, why is it a problem and what does it mean for you as a healthcare professional?

Find out here

What are common types of infectious diseases?

Norovirus: The norovirus is a very contagious virus that can cause inflammation in the intestines. An estimated 15 million Europeans are infected with the norovirus each year

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Scabies: The main symptom of scabies is intense itching, but often the emotional burden is high because of the fear of infecting others and the idea of having parasites.

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Vaginal Infections: Vaginal infection are easily treated and prevented, but it is important to investigate the cause of the vaginal infection in order to prevent future infections.

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Urinary tract infections: A urinary tract infection is an infection or inflammation of the mucous membrane on the inside of the urinary tract, and one of the most common infectious diseases.

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Avoiding infectious diseases

Someone with a good health and immune system can be infected, but may not get sick or display symptoms of an infectious disease. However, this person can still be a carrier and transfer the disease to another person. That is why it is particularly important to be aware of the phases of an infection when it comes to infection prevention:

  • Incubation period refers to the time from when a person is infected until they begin to display symptoms.
  • Infectious period refers to the time a person can spread the disease to others. Often, a person may not have symptoms, but may still be able to infect others. They are sometimes called carriers.
  • The clinical stage refers to the period of time a person displays symptoms.

 

ABENA’s 4 tips for Infection Prevention

Together we can ensure a safe workplace

  1. Avoid cross contamination: Never bring anything contaminated into contact with something clean.
  2. Clean or discard: What is contaminated must be either cleaned or thrown away.
  3. Ensure basic hygiene: Apply proper personal - and hand hygiene.
  4. Protect yourself: Use the right protective wear and the right gloves in the right way.

 

 

Find out more about preventing infectious disease

Practice proper hand hygiene especially after patient contact or use of the bathroom. Check out our guidelines for hand hygiene and find out why personal hygiene is essential in infection prevention.

Infection prevention starts with the right products and procedures. See some of our highly recommended products, and learn how and when to use them correctly.

Knowledge Center

Multi-drug resistant organisms (MDRO)

The subject of antibiotic resistance has garnered growing attention within health care institutions and organizations in recent years. Also known as multi-drug resistant organisms, antibiotic-resistance is an increasing problem for the health care sector.

Read More

Personal Hygiene – key in infection prevention

Personal hygiene plays a key role in infection prevention in health care. But what is personal hygiene and how do you implement this in practice?

Read More

Proper hand hygiene prevents spread of infection

Good hand hygiene is considered the single most important factor in preventing spread of infectious diseases.

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Prevent infections in the health care sector

Each year, more than 4 million Europeans are affected by health care associated infections (HAIs). These infections have high costs, prolonging hospital stays and increasing risk of complications, disabilities and antibiotic resistance. With more than 37,000 deaths attributed to HAIs every year, there are more than enough reasons to pay extra attention to infection prevention.

Read More