INFECTIOUS DISEASE, PUBLIC HEALTH
Infection control precautions designed to reduce the risk of transmission of epidemiologically important pathogens that can be transmitted by infectious droplets
Direct Skin-to-skin contact and physical transfer of microorganisms to a susceptible host from an infected or colonised person, such as occurs when personnel turn patients, bathe patients, or perform other patient-care activities that require physical contact. Direct-contact transmission also can occur between two patients (eg, by hand contact), with one serving as the source of infectious microorganisms and the other as a susceptible host.
Indirect Contact of a susceptible host with a contaminated intermediate object, usually inanimate, in the patient’s environment.
Pathogens for which droplet precautions are advised
• Invasive bacteria Haemophilus influenzae B, Neisseria meningitidis
• Respiratory bacteria Diphtheria, Myocoplasma, pertussis, pneumonic plague, streptococcus
• Viruses Adenovirus, influenza, mumps, parvovirus B19, rubella
Droplet transmission involves contact of the conjunctivae or the mucous membranes of the nose or mouth of a susceptible person with large-particle droplets (larger than 5 um in size) containing microorganisms generated from a person who has a clinical disease or who is a carrier of the microorganism. Droplets are generated from the source person primarily during coughing, sneezing, or talking and during the performance of certain procedures such as suctioning and bronchoscopy. Transmission via large-particle droplets requires close contact between source and recipient persons, because droplets do not remain suspended in the air and generally travel only short distances, usually 3 ft or less, through the air. Because droplets do not remain suspended in the air, special air handling and ventilation are not required to prevent droplet transmission. Droplet precautions apply to any patient known or suspected to be infected with epidemiologically important pathogens that can be transmitted by infectious droplets