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Hospital Infection Control & Prevention – February 1, 2024

February 1, 2024

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  • COVID Resurges Amid Pandemic Fatigue, Anemic Vaccine Uptake

    As more hospitals nationally go to universal masking for patient care, we see the other side of an incoming problem: Only 19% of adults older than 18 years of age have received the latest vaccine against SARS-CoV-2, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

  • Vaccination Can Prevent or Lessen Long COVID

    Could long COVID — a horrific condition anyone would want to avoid — shake people out of the malaise of vaccine apathy, if not outright distrust? Evidence is accumulating that receiving the COVID-19 vaccination before being initially infected with SARS-CoV-2 can significantly reduce the risk of long COVID in children and adults.

  • Next Pandemic: IPs, Drug Stewards Have Key Roles

    Infection preventionists and antibiotic stewards struggled mightily during the height of the pandemic, largely overwhelmed like the rest of the healthcare system. No doubt they prevented some of the impact, but it was a losing effort and those results spoke to their importance as much as any success.

  • Toothbrushing to Prevent Pneumonia

    Oral care, including time-honored toothbrushing, may save a patient’s life from pneumonia of all stripes.

  • Denying Religious Exception Proves Costly in Flu Mandate

    The line between religious exemption and discrimination was brightly drawn recently by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Faced with an EEOC lawsuit regarding an employee denied a religious exemption, an Atlanta pediatric facility settled a religious discrimination lawsuit by agreeing to pay a fired employee $45,000.

  • AI: Friend or Foe to IP & C, Healthcare Epidemiology?

    Artificial intelligence chatbots, such as Chat Generative Pre-training Transformer (ChatGPT), are thought to have potential to eventually replace some straightforward infectious disease consultations. However, current technology does not yet instill confidence that the use of chatbots will be adequately accurate or safe for complex patient care. In addition, philosophical and ethical constraints raise doubt about the value of replacing specialist physician consultations.