Health-Care-Associated-Infection Control: Reducing Airborne Pathogens
In the United States, health-care-associated infections (HAIs), also known as hospital-acquired infections and nosocomial infections, kill more people than AIDS, breast cancer, and automobile accidents combined. The most dangerous HAI pathogens are those with the potential to spread by air. Many of these pathogens, such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), are called “superbugs” because they are virtually invincible to standard drug treatments. Their airborne transmission through a non-immune population can be rapid and pervasive.2
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO), antibiotic-resistant HAIs are on the rise. This article discusses several methods of controlling their airborne transmission.
There are four methods of reducing concentrations of airborne infectious agents: dilution, filtration, pressurization, and disinfection. Following is a brief discussion of each.
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