An organism of concern, Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a water-loving bacteria that works and builds biofilms with other threatening bacteria. Understanding that disinfection alone will not rid an engineered water system of bacteria means we need to look toward biofilm-resistant material and disinfection at the source of use as opposed to where the water enters the building.
Antibiotic Resistance of Pseudomonas aeruginosa in Pneumonia at a Single University Hospital Center in Germany over a 10-Year Period determines that “while P. aeruginosa and MDR P. aeruginosa were resistant to a variety of commonly used antibiotics, they were not resistant to colistin in the few isolates recovered from patients with pneumonia.”
Inhibition of Aspergillus fumigatus and Its Biofilm by Pseudomonas aeruginosa Is Dependent on the Source, Phenotype and Growth Conditions of the Bacterium reports that “Aspergillus fumigatus (Af) and Pseudomonas aeruginosa (Pa) are leading fungal and bacterial pathogens, respectively, in many clinical situations. Relevant to this, their interface and co-existence has been studied. In some experiments in vitro, Pa products have been defined that are inhibitory to Af. In some clinical situations, both can be biofilm producers, and biofilm could alter their physiology and affect their interaction. That may be most relevant to airways in cystic fibrosis (CF), where both are often prominent residents. . . . The differences in Pa shown from these different sources are consistent with the extensive evolutionary Pa changes that have been described in association with chronic residence in CF airways, and may reflect adaptive changes to life in a polymicrobial environment.”
Also: Antibiotic resistance profiles of Pseudomonas aeruginosa isolated from various Greek aquatic environments.
Cleaning crews in schools are just like their counterparts in hospitals on the front lines of the war on disease. Cleaning Schools for Health, Not for Appearance discusses this in some detail. How schools are cleaned can and will impact the health of all building occupants, including students and faculty. Hygiene is involves much more than seemingly clean surfaces.
Creating Healthy Indoor Air Quality in Schools is a comprehensive piece put out by the Environmental Protection Agency, focusing largely on surface hygiene. The EPA has created apps and a series of webinars outlining the threat of poor air quality. The air-surface interfaces in schools also impact air quality.
An evaluation of the impact of flooring types on exposures to fine and coarse particles within the residential micro-environment using CONTAM notes that walking across the floor will aerosolize particles on the floor and put them back into the air. If those particles are viruses or bacteria, it creates the threat of infection. If it is dirt, pollen or chemicals, the risk moves toward asthma triggers.
Hand hygiene is and always will remain critical to controlling infection. Proper hand hygiene will impact the health of staff and students. Effects of Hand Hygiene Campaigns on Incidence of Laboratory-confirmed Influenza and Absenteeism in Schoolchildren, Cairo, Egypt studies the effectiveness of intense hand hygiene.
Reducing Absenteeism From Gastrointestinal and Respiratory Illness in Elementary School Students: A Randomized, Controlled Trial of an Infection-Control Intervention concludes that “A multifactorial intervention including hand sanitizer and surface disinfection reduced absenteeism caused by gastrointestinal illness in elementary school students. Norovirus was found less often on classroom surfaces in the intervention group. Schools should consider adopting these practices to reduce days lost to common illnesses.”
Clean air, hands and surfaces will impact the health of your employees, volunteers and students. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Infection control is for everybody, even schools.
Faced with the choice of working while sick or sitting out and not getting paid, most will work while sick. Pros and Cons of Sick Pay Schemes: Testing for Contagious Presenteeism and Shirking Behavior takes a look at the ramifications. Most organizations’ human resource policy is focused on short term goal. It is clearly that way with sick pay. While it might take some logistics wrangling, there generally are duties that can be accomplished at home. It is time to get smart and realize that working sick hurts business as well as the bottom line.
The spread of disease in a facility happens quickly, as noted in Office Germs: Viruses Spread Everywhere in Just Hours, Study Shows. Bacteria and viruses move through the water system, on the air, and are moved around a facility on shoes, hands and clothes. Dr Gerba’s study showing how quickly the bacteriophage MS-2 virus moved throughout and office was enlightening.
How long do nosocomial pathogens persist on inanimate surfaces? A systematic review shows that bugs can remain viable on surfaces for hours, even weeks.
Bugs (viruses, bacteria and fungi) all move through the air. The CDC always talks about droplet precaution. It contends that droplets fall out of the air to a surface within six feet of the patient. MIT showed droplets moving 6-8 meters through the air in Studying the Science of 100 Sneezes. High-speed video shows how far sneezes spread in The snot-spattered experiments that show how far sneezes really spread. Droplet nuclei can remain suspended in air for extended periods, according to ASHRAE.
Focusing on cleaning for health, hand hygiene and sub-micron air filtration is a must for a healthy environment.