New pathogens (including antimicrobial resistant strains) are continually emerging. As soon as we get one under control another emerges
Did you know?
Prior to the 1980s organisms such as Campylobacter, E. coli O157, legionella and norovirus were largely unheard of
Emerging infections in recent years include new agents/strains:
- SARS, Influenza H1N1, avian flu
- E.coli O104
In response to the threat of emerging pandemic strains such as influenza, hygiene is now seen as an important first line of defence to contain the disease before vaccines or treatments become available
We live in an increasingly crowded and mobile world where new infectious agents and antibiotic resistant strains spread easily and quickly
ID risk in the community is increasing
- The proportion of “at risk” people with reduced immunity to infection, is currently estimated at around 20% in the European community and US, and is likely to increase.
- It includes many who are otherwise considered healthy – the elderly (over 65), the very young, pregnant mothers etc.
- It also includes those with underlying disease: e.g. HIV/AIDS, diabetes
- Hygiene needs do not differ significantly from those which apply to healthy people; it is just that the risks of infection from poor hygiene are greater for “at risk” groups
At risk groups
In the UK, at risk groups living at home and in the community includes the 300,000+ diagnosed annually with cancer and 91,000+ living with HIV .
But it is the elderly that make up the largest numbers of the “at higher risk” population