The crowding of people in places such as the evacuation centers could make them vulnerable to the outbreaks of respiratory infections. In most cases, like influenza, the microorganisms can spread very easily and rapidly in these settings resulting in important health consequences for the residents as well as healthcare workers, especially those who are at a high risk of complications due to these infections.
Here is a brief discussion about the guidance provided by the healthcare authorities for the control and prevention of respiratory infections, especially in residents and workers at the evacuation centers.
Most of the germs known to cause respiratory diseases, including those that cause breathing difficulties, tend to spread by air droplets that are released by the infected person while sneezing and coughing. These bacteria and viruses may spread from one person to another when the uninfected person comes in close contact with the sick person. Most people tend to get infected by touching the objects or surfaces having those germs on them and then, touching their nose or mouth.
Generally, the most effective way to prevent the spread of respiratory infections is to avoid the contact with infected air droplets or the secretions such as the saliva, tears, or mucus.
Precautionary measures that could help prevent the spread include the following:
Some respiratory infections, like influenza, can be avoided with the help of a vaccine. It is advisable to check with the local healthcare authorities to find if the vaccination for the prevention of influenza is available at the evacuation center.
Share information with the patients having the symptoms of respiratory infections about the right ways to prevent the spread of the illness by practicing cough etiquette and respiratory hygiene, which includes:
If possible, provide the patient with the materials needed to adhere to the cough etiquette and respiratory hygiene such as:
When possible, post the visual reminders in the areas of the high risk for the spread of the infection such as the evacuation centers instructing the residents and healthcare workers to report the symptoms of the respiratory infections.
Also, visual alerts may be used to encourage or promote the practice of the cough etiquette and respiratory hygiene.
When possible, the people suspected to have an infection should be screened for the respiratory illness. In the case of residents and healthcare workers, the screening should be performed upon the initial admission and registration at the evacuation center.
Evaluate every worker and the resident of the evacuation center for the presence of the common symptoms of the respiratory infections such as:
Evaluate the person with the symptoms of respiratory infections for the other co-morbidities such as asthma and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), including emphysema.
Refer a person meeting 1 or more of the following criteria for further medical evaluation:
In case the residents do not have any symptoms of respiratory infections upon the initial admission or registration at the evacuation center, they should be asked to report any new symptoms immediately, if they occur.
These guidelines are effective for controlling the spread of pulmonary infections, especially at the evacuation centers. You can attend our respiratory conference to learn more about the right ways to protect against the risk of pulmonary infections. Our respiratory therapy conferences are aimed at creating awareness and educating healthcare professionals about the latest guidelines related to the treatment and prevention of lung diseases to help them provide the best possible treatment to their patients.