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Hospital infection prevention and control departments should be preparing for recently identified respiratory viruses that are creating fear in Africa and Europe. The virus that causes respiratory failure and 30 deaths has turned up in Italy. It appears to have begun in The Middle East. The virus has also appeared in France, Germany, Tunisia and the U.K. as a result of peope having close contact with infected persons in the Middle East or traveled to those areas themselves. The World Health Organization also reports that the Mers or Coronavirus is similar to a virus that infects bats in Southeast Asia, but is not linked to the Novel Influenza A (H7N9) Virus Infection. The Novel Influenza A human infection appears to be related to exposure to live poultry or contaminated environments and is occurring mainly in Asia.
Experts Fear New Killer MERS Virus Heading for US. Are these newer viruses capable of causing a major Pandemic? Could this be similar to the SARS virus? Unfortunately, we know too little to make that decision at this early stage. What we do know is Infection prevention and control precautions at hospitals are key in preventing spread.

Hospitals should have written infection prevention and control policies outlining prevention strategies including placement of patients on droplet precautions.Pandemic Influenza preparedness is crucial. Read More

Phenelle Segal, RN, CIC, FAPIC

Phenelle Segal, RN, CIC, FAPIC, is the founder and president of Infection Control Consulting Services LLC (ICCS). Phenelle has more than 30 years' experience providing customized comprehensive infection control and prevention services to healthcare facilities nationwide. Her services focus on assisting hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, dental office and oral surgery practices, doctor's offices, nursing homes and other organizations with implementing and maintaining an infection control program that: complies with The Joint Commission, AAAHC, Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) and other regulatory agencies; respond to situations of noncompliance; and improve the processes for reducing risk.