Infection Control: What you need to know.

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Infection Control: What you need to know.

Respiratory protection

Respirators better than surgical masks for infection control

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The longstanding belief that a surgical mask provides adequate protection against infections spread by droplets has been turned upside down by new research that finds respirators do a better job.

UNSW Professor of Infectious Disease Epidemiology and PLuS Alliance Fellow Raina MacIntyre and her team have conducted the largest body of work internationally on masks and respirators, which was a finalist for the 2017 Eureka Prize in Infectious Diseases.

Hospital infection control guidelines worldwide recommend surgical masks for infections spread by droplets, such as influenza, which currently has Australia’s health system under huge pressure.

Professor MacIntyre and team tested the evidence for such guidelines. using data from two large randomised controlled trials involving 3591 subjects in Beijing, China.

The study, published in Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses and available online, failed to show protection by surgical masks.

“We showed that even for infections spread by droplets, respirators protect better,” Professor MacIntyre said.

Surgical masks are loose fitting, disposable masks that cover the mouth and nose, while respirators are designed to fit closer to the face and to filter 95% of airborne particles.

“This turns upside down the long-held beliefs on infection control. It suggests that transmission of infection cannot be neatly classified as large droplets versus airborne particles.

“Probably infections we believe to be spread by large droplets also have some airborne transmission.”

This study confirms and reinforces that respirators should be used to ensure health workers are protected at the frontline.

Infections spread by the respiratory route are classified by their mode of transmission.

Airborne infections are transmitted via small, microscopic airborne infectious particles, which hover in the air for long periods of time.

Droplet transmission involves large, visible particles, which do not remain suspended in the air, like those expelled during coughing or sneezing.

Guidelines for prevention of influenza are based on the belief that influenza is mainly spread by droplets. However, many studies also show airborne transmission of influenza, and this study adds to the evidence.

The belief that a surgical mask is good enough for infection prevention and that the more purpose-designed respirators are not necessary came to the fore globally during the 2009 pandemic, and again during the Ebola epidemic of 2014, where many guidelines recommended surgical masks.

Drugs or vaccines are often unavailable during serious epidemics, and frontline health workers require protection from masks, respirators and other personal protective equipment (PPE). During the 2014 Ebola epidemic, PPE was the mainstay of protection for doctors and nurses.

It is also important during influenza pandemics, as vaccine development can take six months from the onset of the pandemic.

“Our research has challenged entrenched practices in infection control from the outset,” Professor MacIntyre said.

“This study confirms and reinforces that respirators should be used to ensure health workers are protected at the frontline.

“It is time that guidelines reflect the available evidence, and that safety of health workers is prioritised.”

(Source: UNSW)

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ISO 16890 REPLACES EN779:2012

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ISO 16890 REPLACES EN779:2012

The ISO 16890 standard is LIVE and is the new global standard for testing and classification of air filters, and replaces the existing EN779:2012 norm. This new ISO 16890 standard is a big change in the way air filters are evaluated.

Why a new filtration standard ISO 16890? 
The new ISO16890 test method shifts the focus on filtration performance to the classes of particulate matter size (PM) and is therefore a much more realistic test criteria than the theoretical EN779:2012.

What is different?
This means that with the new ISO 16890 standard filter efficiencies will be determined based on particulate matter size classes PM1, PM2.5 and PM10 (also called ePM1, ePM2,5 and ePM10), which are also used as evaluation parameters by the WHO (World Health Organization) and other authorities. Based on these parameters it will be easier for users to select the right air filter based on their requirements.

ISO 16890 – The new group classification

The new ISO16890 standard divides air filters into four groups. A prerequisite for each group is that a filter captures at least 50% of the appropriate particle size range. If a filter, for example, captures more than 50% of PM1 particles, it will be grouped as an ISO ePM1 filter. The respective efficiency is then reported, rounded in 5 % increments.

Alongside fine dust filters, the new ISO standard also evaluates coarse dust filters as ISO coarse: that is, filters that capture less than 50 % PM10.

What does PM1 mean?

PM1 means all Particulate Matter with size smaller than 1 micron (a thousandth of a millimetre), just to be clear:

1µ= 0.001mm (=PM1)
2.5µ= 0.0025mm (=PM2.5)
10µ= 0.01mm (=PM10)

The benefits of ISO 16890

The new ISO 16890 standard offers several improvements when compared to the EN779 Standard:

  • One global international standard
  • The ISO16890 records their performance at a particle spectrum of 0.3 up to 10 microns (versus the EN779 test which qualified fine filter performance at 0.4 microns)
  • Fractional efficiencies of the filter prior to and after IPA discharge of any electrostatic properties can be seen.
  • Filters can be chosen for their specific performance related to the need of the application.

Are you ISO 16890 ready?

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IREMA MICROMENTB

 

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Ebola Outbreak

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Ebola Outbreak

21 cases of haemorrhagic fever, including 17 deaths were reported in the Democratic Republic of Congo on 3 May 2018. Two out five samples taken to Kinshasa for testing on 6 May, tested positive for Ebola.

This warning from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) comes following news of reports of a confirmed Ebola case in the provincial capital, Mbandaka, in north-eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

“Local volunteers and health workers are the community’s alarm system,” said Ben Adinoyi, IFRC Regional Head of Health and Care, who is currently based in Kinshasa. “They are our eyes and ears on the ground. They are critical to the early identification and containment of new cases.

“They need to be activated across the province and even beyond. If we don’t, then the virus may spread too far and too quickly.”

At least 23 people have died of suspected haemorrhagic fever in an outbreak that was first confirmed on 8 May in Bikoro health zone, a remote part of the country. Three of those cases are confirmed to be Ebola. Fears of a flare up are mounting as cases have spread across three different health zones.“

A Red Cross team of experts is on the ground in Equateur Province providing training and support to local volunteers. They have brought essential supplies like stretchers, chlorine disinfectant, safe burial kits, informational posters and other supplies to support local communities and health centres.

Critically, more than 110 Red Cross volunteers in Bikoro and Mbandaka are alerting communities as well as disinfecting houses where cases have been suspected. The volunteers are also ready to provide safe and dignified burials if needed. The effective management of dead bodies is a crucial component of an effective Ebola response.

“DRC Red Cross has responded to all past eight Ebola outbreaks in the country and has a strong, in-country network of experts,” said Grégoire Mateso, President of the DRC Red Cross. “They are already in the communities and stand ready to expand awareness-raising, meticulous surveillance, infection control and prevention in areas that are at risk of further spread of the virus.

IFRC has released more than 216,000 Swiss francs from its Disaster Relief Emergency Fund to bring supplies and personnel to the affected area and is preparing to launch an international emergency appeal to increase its support to the DRC Red Cross.

Kinshasa/ Nairobi/Geneva, 17 May 2018—www.ifrc.org

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Medica 13th-16th Nov 2017

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Medica 13th-16th Nov 2017

MEDICA, the leading international trade fair for the medical sector,  Düsseldorf / Germany from 13 – 16 November 2017

MEDICA has passed and once again the fair proved to us that it is one of the most important events for  IREMA. We can look back on a very successful and interesting week.
Many visitors came to see what was new in the different areas and we were able to meet customers with whom we can look back on more than 30 years of partnership.

 

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A+A-People Matter. Dusseldorf, Germany 2017

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A+A-People Matter. Dusseldorf, Germany 2017

A+A- Safety,security, Health at work-Dusseldorf 17th-20th Oct 2017

People matter -very much underlined the huge importance of health and safety at the workplace. – now more than ever. This is underscored by the huge interest taken by exhibitors in the run-up to A+A 2017, once again allowing the world’s leading trade fair for safety, security and health at work held from 17 to 20 October to post top marks. A total of 1,930 exhibitors from 63 nations and over 67,000 trade visitors came to the world’s largest trade fair for this industry in Düsseldorf.

Some of the main areas of interest for Irema Visiting the Show in October ,plus also got a chance to visit some of our excising clients in the PPE sector.

  •  Personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Health at work
  • High-risk prevention
  • Envionmental protection at work
  • Avoidance of damage to property and reduction in quality
  • Measurement technology for the avoidance of malfunction/accidents

www.aplusa.online

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Bird flu strain found at farm in Fife

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Bird flu strain found at farm in Fife

A “very mild” strain of bird flu has been identified on a Fife farm, the Scottish government has confirmed.
A one kilometre protection zone has been set up around Craigies Poultry Farm on the outskirts of Dunfermline.
Confirmation of the strain of Avian Influenza (H5N1) was issued shortly after 18:00.
Initial tests indicate a “low pathogenic” strain and the risk to human health is said to be “very low”.
All 40,000 birds will now be culled on site on Wednesday.

Respirators
Protect yourself

There have been a number of recent cases of avian influenza across continental Europe in recent months including three cases in other parts of the UK in 2015.
Within the control zone a range of different controls are in place which include restrictions of the movement of poultry, carcasses, eggs, used poultry litter and manure and restrictions on bird gatherings.
Scotland’s Chief Veterinary Officer, Sheila Voas, said: “We have taken immediate action to contain this case as part of our robust procedures for dealing swiftly with avian flu.
“Evidence suggests this is a low severity form of the virus however we are taking action to ensure that the disease does not spread or develop into a more severe form.
“I would urge poultry keepers in the surrounding area to be vigilant for any signs of disease and to ensure they are maintaining good biosecurity on their premises.”
The Scottish government’s Rural Affairs Secretary, Richard Lochhead, said: “Livestock owners and the general public should be assured that we are doing everything we can to control and prevent the spread of the disease.
“Any poultry producers who are concerned should immediately seek veterinary advice.”
Dr Jim McMenamin, consultant epidemiologist and respiratory infection lead for Health Protection Scotland, said: “Based on what we know about this strain of avian influenza and the actions that have been taken, the risk to human health in this case is considered very low.
“Health Protection Scotland continues to work closely with Animal Health throughout this investigation.”
Rita Botto, head veterinarian of Food Standard Scotland said: “On the basis of current scientific evidence, Food Standards Scotland’s advice is that bird flu does not pose a food safety risk for UK consumers.”
Penny Johnston, NFU Scotland policy manager, told BBC Scotland: “It’s something that could happen at any time so it was not unexpected.
“There were a couple of cases in England last year so you would expect the odd case to pop up here.
“We have well-rehearsed contingency plans so hopefully we can control it and stop it spreading.
“It’s not a huge disaster so it should not cause widespread panic.
“Unfortunately we have to live with it but we we will try to keep it in a small zone.”

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