In the past few years, our world has been shaken by both natural and unnatural types of disaster. The effects can be devastating; homes and buildings are destroyed and most unfortunately, lives are lost. It is important to remember after a disaster strikes, precautions must be taken in order to prevent further danger. Clean-up after a disaster is of the utmost importance; disease can spread quickly because of unsanitary conditions after a catastrophic event and infection control quickly becomes a primary concern.
Many of the most dangerous infections are spread through the respiratory system. Because of debris or chemicals released into the air, the development of mold and the breakdown of items destroyed by disaster, respiratory illnesses are high on the list of post disaster-type infection. Asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are most commonly exacerbated by respiratory infections. Stachybotris (a.k.a. black mold) is especially dangerous after a natural disaster where standing water or serious water damage has occurred. Special precautions and property testing of suspected stachybotris proliferation (black mold areas) are imperative to respiratory health after a disaster.
Hospitals are always a concern for the spread of illness after a disaster. A hospital may incur wind and water damage; some may even have standing water damage which can breed and spread water-borne illness. Patients and healthcare professionals stand an immediate risk of illness or infection after a disaster. Equipment, parts of the hospital structure, and other materials which are damaged or contaminated must be removed and discarded, while salvageable materials and items can be thoroughly dried, repaired, cleaned and restored to safe function.
For instance, the United States CDC (Center for Disease Control) has this to say about hospital restoration after a disaster:
“Restoration of a hospital to full function is complex, multidisciplinary task, and the assistance of engineers, professionals trained in building remediation and manufacturers of healthcare equipment will likely be necessary to complete the job.”
Infection control is no easy task. In fact, it is an undertaking of mass proportions but it is necessary and vital to recovery and restoration after an event. Implementations for how clean-up and infection control are carried out have been made by government agencies in order to prevent further damage and loss of life after a disaster. These guidelines outline how the process of infection control should be carried out in order to be completely effective.
FERRO Canada Inc. has been helping companies and individuals prevent infection through thorough clean-up and restoration after disaster by following specific protocols, methodically overcoming the problem with your health and well-being first in mind.
For further information on how to prevent infection after a disaster, please contact us.