Level 3 Unit 20 Infection Control

UNIT 20 – Causes and spread of infection

The differences between bacteria, funghi, viruses and parasites -
Bacteria are single-cell micro-organisms, they get their nutrition from their surroundings. Bacteria can only be seen by microscope. Bacteria can cause illnesses and infections such as lyme disease, tuberculosis, tetanus and MRSA. Viruses are even smaller than bacteria, they are disease causing agents and enclosed in a protein coating which makes them harder to destroy. Viruses can cause illnesses such as polio, norovirus, cold, flu and chicken pox. Most viruses cannot be treated with antibiotics, your immune system will fight them off. Funghi is almost like a plant, and spreads by releasing spores into the environment. Fungi are a group of micro-organisms including yeast and mould. Fungus live by decomposing and absorbing the organic material where they are growing – usually on soil or land. They cause fungal infections such as athletes foot and thrush. Parasites are organisms that feed on and are dependent on their host – they have to attach to a host to survive. Parasites can cause infestations of worms, ticks, lice and mites.
An infection is an invasion of a hosts body tissues by a disease causing organism.   You can catch systemic or localised infections. A systemic infection is when a number or organs, tissues, or the whole body is affected by an infection. A localised infection is confined to one organ system or area in the body. Colonisation is when 1 or more species populate a specific area.
Poor practices can lead to spread of infections – this includes poor hand washing, not wearing appropriate PPE, inappropriate disposal of waste – e.g. not putting clinical waste in the correct bin, not changing your PPE between procedures/between seeing each client, poor personal hygiene, not washing your uniform daily at the correct temperature, poor cleanliness e.g. not cleaning spills/body fluids correctly, not upkeeping a high standard of cleanliness...