Breaking the Chain of Infections
Six links of chain must be met in order for a microbe or infectious disease to be spread from person to person. This process is called the chain of infection:
- Germs (agent) – the microorganism (for example bacteria, virus or parasites).
- Reservoir (where germs live) – a host which allows the microorganism to live, and possibly grow, and multiply. People, animals/pets (dogs, cats, reptiles), wild animals, food, soil and water can all be reservoirs for microorganisms.
- Portal of Exit (how germs get out) – a path for the microorganism to escape from the host. Mouth (vomit, saliva), cuts in the skin (blood), during diapering and toileting stool are some examples.
- Mode of Transmission (germs get around) – since microorganisms cannot travel on their own; they require a vehicle to carry them to other people and places. Contact (hands, toys, sand) and droplets (when you speak, sneeze or cough) are some examples.
- Portal of Entry (how germs get in) – a path for the microorganism to get into a new host, similar to the portal of exit (for example mouth, cuts in the skin and eyes).
- Susceptible Host (next sick person) – a person susceptible to the microorganism. Babies, children, elderly, people with weakened immune system, unimmunized people and anyone.
How to break the chain of infections? There are six easy steps to follow:
- Perform Hand Hygiene
- Proper use of PPE
- Proper and good cleaning practices
- Effective Cleaning Tools (microfiber)
- Frequent Changes
- Chemical Disinfectants used in the cleaning process