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September 1, 2019

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  • The ‘Vaccine Wars:’ Will Science Prevail?

    In a year marked by more than 1,000 infections with a disease that once was eradicated in the United States, the tide of public opinion may be turning against the antivaccine movement. Measles resurgence coincides with parents citing unsafe vaccines as a reason not to immunize their children. However, there is a growing pushback against the antivaccine movement, with herd immunity threatened and the real risk of measles to immunocompromised patients and those who cannot be immunized.

  • CDC Gears Up as Ebola Outbreak Escalates in Africa

    The CDC is stepping up efforts to fight an Ebola outbreak that is threatening to spread beyond the borders of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The World Health Organization recently declared an international health emergency in DRC after an Ebola case appeared July 14 in Goma, a city of 2 million people that has connecting flights to global air travel. As of Aug. 2, there have been four cases in Goma.

  • MERS Still a Threat in Saudi Arabia

    Although it has not been sustained in other countries following introductions and outbreaks, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) coronavirus has established an endemic presence in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia since it emerged in 2012, the World Health Organization reports. As of June 30, 2019, there have been 2,449 laboratory-confirmed cases of MERS reported, with 84% in Saudi Arabia and the rest in 27 other countries, including the United States. There have been 845 MERS deaths, resulting in a mortality rate of 35%.

  • CMS Deadline Nears, But Infection Control in Long-Term Care a Challenge

    The churn of staff turnover and administrative changes in long-term care may make it difficult for many facilities to meet an impending federal requirement to establish infection prevention programs. The CMS deadline for a designated and trained infection preventionist in long-term care facilities is Nov. 28, 2019. CMS and the CDC are offering free training to meet this requirement, but there are signs that some long-term care facilities will struggle to comply.

  • Infection Prevention Expertise Lacking on Water Management Teams

    Water management plans to control Legionella and other waterborne pathogens in healthcare settings have become a priority since a CMS memo in 2017 ordered such measures to protect patients. Infection preventionists should be a key member of these water management teams, but almost half the facilities consulted by Legionella experts did not have an IP on the committee.

  • APIC Raises IP Profile on YouTube

    For many years, patients, the public, and even some fellow healthcare workers were not fully aware of the critical role IPs played behind the scenes. The IP profile has been raised dramatically over the last decade by national efforts to reduce healthcare-associated infections, the rise of antibiotic resistance, and emerging infections like Ebola. As a result, APIC created a video that features IPs explaining what they do and what aspects of the job they particularly enjoy. The video can be used to raise awareness among the public, patients, medical personnel, and recruit new IPs into the profession.