Infectious disease death trends In the US is illustrated in a recent article written by Heather Punke. In the last 25 years, infectious diseases are responsible for 5.4% of all deaths. I found a couple of her key points interesting.
- Clostridium difficile death used to be non-existent but mortality exploded reaching a plateau of 2.4/100,000 in 2007.
- Influenza and pneumonia remain the deadliest infectious diseases. They account for approximately 40% of infectious disease mortalities.
These points make me think. Is hand washing working? There is now undisputed evidence that strict adherence to hand hygiene reduces the risk of cross-transmission of infections. Clean Care is Safer Care is a prime agenda of the global initiative of WHO on patient safety programs. This initiative is focused on hand hygiene in healthcare. Hopefully this will permeate into the community.
Hand washing is now regarded as one of the most important elements of infection control activities. In the wake of the growing burden of health care acquired infections (HAI) and community acquired infections (CAI), the increasing severity of illness, along with multi-drug resistant (MDR) pathogen infections, health care practitioners (HCPs) are reversing back to the basics of infection prevention. This puts hand hygiene at center stage. Since enough evidence supports that hand washing alone can significantly reduce the risk of the spread of infection, the message must be hammered home in healthcare as well as the community.
With that said. All we need to do is wash our hands!
Hand hygiene: Back to the basics of infection control, Purva Mathur, IJMR, Nov 2011
Infectious disease death trends in the US: 8 key points, Heather Punke, Google, Nov. 2016