We watched reports of an outbreak of an emerging infectious disease, known as Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in China in early January. By the end of January, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that the COVID-19 outbreak met criteria for “a Public Health Emergency of International Concern” (WHO 2020a).
Since then, COVID-19 has spread rapidly causing the WHO to declare COVID-19 a pandemic, with more than 118,000 cases reported in 114 countries (WHO 2020a).
Despite the rapid spread, Dr. Tedros, the Director General of WHO, reported that of the 118,000 cases, more than 90% of cases occurred in four countries (WHO 2020b). Several countries have demonstrated that the virus can be suppressed and controlled with preparation. Which is good news in a pandemic situation. It appears that countries that “detect, test, isolate, trace, and mobilize people in response, those with a handful of cases, can prevent those cases from becoming clusters, and those clusters from becoming community transmission,” explained Dr. Tedros (WHO 2020b).
Your health care facility can help suppress and control COVID-19 by taking these steps that help limit exposure.
By putting these strategies into practice, your facility can be proactive against COVID-19, and help contribute to the best outcome, a pandemic that resolves quickly with few casualties.
Since information surrounding the COVID-19 virus continues to evolve, keep informed by checking the CDC’s Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) webpage.
About the AuthorCollette Bishop Hendler, RN, MS, MA, CIC, Editor-in-Chief, Lippincott Solutions, Point-of-Care, is certified by the Certification Board of Infection Control and Epidemiology, Inc. as an Infection Preventionist.
Association of Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC). (2020). “Infectious Disease Disasters: Bioterrorism, Emerging Infections, and Pandemic” in APIC Text Online, Arlington, VA: APIC.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020). “Interim Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations for Patients with Suspected or Confirmed Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Healthcare Settings.”
World Health Organization. (2020). “WHO Director-General's opening remarks at the media briefing on COVID-19 - 11 March 2020”