Focus: Infection Control

Outbreak incident in Israel teaches value of infection control

May 9, 2019

Hand Hygiene Day on 5 May was a reminder that everyone has the right to expect clean care, whether in a field hospital, a care home or a state-of-the-art operating room, according to an article on the World Health Organization website.

The article focused on Professor Mitchell Schwaber, who experienced the outbreak of a form of Klebsiella bacteria in Israel in 2006. The lessons changed Israel’s approach to infection prevention and control.

A task force that included Schwaber made two recommendations: first, issue national orders on how to effectively isolate patients who were carriers of the bacteria; second, create a taskforce to oversee implementation of the orders and carry out additional measures necessary to confront the outbreak.

“The first circular we put out was about hand hygiene in 2009,” Schwaber said. “We realized this represented the ABCs: you can’t do infection control without firmly establishing hand hygiene. Since that time, it has become the law of the land.”

Read the article.

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