• Infection Control and the Norovirus

    Monday February 27, 2012

    Due to the recent reported cases of the Norovirus in nursing homes and assisted living facilities it is important that we remember what the facility's role and responsibility is regarding infection control.

    Under the guidance for Surveyors in the State Operations Manual, F-441Infection Control, states; Recognizing and Containing Outbreaks An outbreak is typically one or more of the following:

    • One case of an infection that is highly communicable;
    • Trends that are 10% higher than the historical rate of infection for the facility that may reflect an outbreak or seasonal variation and therefore warrant further investigation; or
    • Occurrence of three or more cases of the same infection over a specified length of time on the same unit or other defined areas. 

    Once an outbreak has been identified, it is important the facility take the appropriate steps to contain it.  State health departments offer guidance and regulations regarding responding to and reporting outbreaks.  This information is often received in advance of an outbreak and included in the infection prevention and control program. Plans for containing outbreaks usually include efforts to prevent further transmission of the infection while considering the need of all residents and staff.

    It is important that all infection prevention and control practice reflect current Centers for Disease Controlguidelines.

    Component of an infection Prevention and Control Program

    • Policies and procedures
    • Infection Preventionist
    • Surveillance( process and outcome)
    •  Documentation
    • Monitoring
    • Data Analysis
    • Communicable Disease Reporting
    • Education
    • Antibiotic Review

    Facilities should review the complete guidance under CFR ยง483.65 Infection Control F441 for more details.

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