The chain of infection is a term that refers to the sequence of events in which infection occurs. It is built of six links, and the chain can be broken at any link. We’ll begin with a description of each link and the ways to break the chain of infection through it.
First, there is the pathogen, which is the infectious agent causing the disease. It can be a virus, a germ, bacteria, and so on. In order to stop the chain of infection at this link, one can use a number of methods to subdue the virus or germ. For example, soap can dissolve a virus’ structure, making it inactive. Pasteurizing milk “kills” the bad bacteria in it. Since there are many pathogens available, there are many ways to eradicate them.
Second in the chain of infection is the reservoir, meaning the environment in which the pathogen survives. This can be a human carrier, soil, water, or even animals. Medical treatment, as well as quarantine, can help break the link and stop the chain of infection.
The third link is the portal of exit, signifying the way the pathogen leaves its reservoir. For example, nose and throat discharges can exit a human carrier when they sneeze. Other examples of exit portals are blood, saliva, feces, and so on. This link can be broken by avoiding coughing and sneezing into the hands or onto surfaces, but to the elbow instead. Also, using barriers can help with avoiding pathogens leaving their reservoirs – face masks or even condoms can protect us from pathogens.
The fourth link is the means or modes of transmission. In other words, how the pathogens spread. There can be direct or indirect transmission. Pathogens can be passed through close contact with carriers, contaminated surfaces and objects, animals, and more. The chain of infection can be stopped here by practicing hand washing or minimizing contact with carriers of pathogens.
The fifth link is the portal of entry, meaning how the pathogens enter their host. The pathogen can enter through ingestion, inhalation, or penetration. Eating food prepared by someone with low hand hygiene can cause pathogens to be ingested. Inhaling airborne pathogens can also occur in an everyday setting. Penetration as a method of passing pathogens is most common for people who have frequent cuts, such as patients using catheters, or drug addicts using an unclean needle. In order to break this link barrier methods are extremely effective, as they block entrances to the body. For example, face masks can help avoid inhalation of dangerous pathogens.
The sixth – and last – link in the chain of infection is the new host. The body’s immunity system fights off infections, but at-risk groups with immune deficiencies are often called “the susceptible host”. Receiving annual flu shots and strengthening the body’s immune system is an important part of battling germs.
Many things can help break the chain of infection. Cleaning hands regularly has a major effect on infection prevention. Soapy’s ECO micro-station ensures a thorough wash cycle every time, as well as conserving valuable resources such as soap, electricity, and water.
The ECO micro-station highlights problem areas on the skin while timing the exact time needed to wash hands. The smart machine also dispenses the correct amount of soap and water that needs to be used. The ECO micro-station is easy to install and use, helping businesses around the world keep track of important hand hygiene data with its facial recognition feature. If you want to learn more about the ECO micro-station, you can contact us here.