An infectious disease or communicable disease is caused by a biological agent such as by a virus, bacterium or parasite.
Microbes that cause illness are also known as pathogens. The most common pathogens are various bacteria and viruses, though a number of other microorganisms, including some kinds of fungi and protozoa, also cause disease.
Infectious diseases are the invasion of a host organism by a foreign replicator, generally microorganisms, often called microbes, that are invisible to the naked eye.
An infectious disease is termed contagious if it is easily transmitted from one person to another
The Five Commandments for infectious Disease Control
Prevent infections from spreading.
Require certain immunizations
Report some illnesses.
Exclude some children
Prepare- don’t wait until an outbreak occurs!
Tools to control the spread of infectious diseases
Viruses and bacteria
Thrive in warm, wet and stuffy environments
Teachers, staff, children and parents can
Practice correct hand-washing
Air out all the rooms
Allow sufficient room per child
When should children wash?
What are other situations when adults should wash?
Require Certain immunizations
Vaccines to prevent serious and/or deadly diseases are one of the great successes of the 20th century. Vaccine-preventable diseases are at the lowest levels ever.
Children begin receiving vaccinations at about 2 months of age.
The timing and spacing of vaccinations is important and, when given correctly they increase the effectiveness.
By time they are 2 years old, they should have received a series of immunizations protecting them against a variety of disease, which include Polio, Diphtheria, Pertussis (whooping cough), Tetanus, Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Hepatitis B, Varicella (chicken pox) and Haemophilus (HIB).
If you do not Exclude children who are not properly immunized, you may have legal liability if a child in your program develops a vaccine-preventable disease.
What is immunization?
Immunization means vaccination or "needle shots". When children are immunized, they receive an injection that will protect them from serious childhood diseases.
How does it work?
Vaccines trigger your child's immune system to produce antibodies to fight diseases. For immunization to work best, children should have all their vaccinations on schedule.
Report of some Illnesses
Every state has laws requiring early childhood programs to report.
Contact your local health department for current list.
Any Hepatitis and meningitis occurrence must be report it (2or more children or staff).
An epidemic- a large number of cases in a short period-should be reported.
Special reporting requirements usually exist for illnesses caused by eating contaminated food.
Exclude Some Children
The illness prevents the child from participating comfortably in the program’s activities, as determined by the child care provider.
The illness makes the child have a greater need for care that the caregivers can manage without compromise the care of other children in the group
The child has a specific condition the is likely to expose others to a communicable disease.
The special conditions that required exclusion are as follows
Both fever and behavior change
Symptoms of sever illness such us lethargy, uncontrolled coughing, inexplicable irritability or crying, difficulty breathing, wheezing, or other unusual signs ( until medical evaluation determines the child can remain in care).
Diarrhea, defined as more watery , less formed, more frequent
Children in diapers who develop diarrhea
Blood in the stools
Vomiting two or more times in 24 hours
Persistent abdominal pain
Mouth sores with drooling
Rash with fever or behavior change
Pink or red eye
Enough space to prevent crowding
Surfaces easily cleanable
Separation of food areas from toileting and diapering
Enough flushing toilets
Heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems meet health standards
Group size and staffing facilitates practicing infection control routines
Mix-age and mix-age-group arrangements required extra infection control effort
Stopping the spread of respiratory diseases
Make sure children and adults frequently wash their hands.
Regularly clean and sanitize areas where children live and play.
Do not allow food to be shared.
Wash and sanitize any mouthed toys and frequently used surfaces (such as tables).
Wash eating utensils carefully in hot soapy water; then sanitize and air dry.
Use disposable cups or wash reusable cups and then dip them in a sanitizing solution after each use and allow them to air dry. Label each child’s cup.
Air out the rooms daily. Open windows whenever possible to maximize ventilation.
Allow children to play outdoors as often as possible.
Teach children to cough or sneeze toward the floor or to their elbow or shoulder. If someone sneezes or coughs into a tissue or hand, properly dispose of the tissue and wash hands.
Wipe runny noses and eyes promptly, and wash hands afterward.
Use disposable towels and tissues.
Dispose of towels or tissues contaminated with nose, throat, or eye fluids in a container lined with a disposable plastic bag.
Stopping the spread of intestinal diseases
Intestinal tract diseases don’t always make you or a child feel sick or have diarrhea, so the best method for preventing the spread of disease is to take these routine precautions:
Make sure you and the children frequently wash your hands.
Insist on general cleanliness and sanitizing.
Be sure that all adults and children have received the vaccines recommended for them.
Special Advice for Group Care Settings
separate them into three groups whenever possible: infants, older diapered children, and children who use the toilet reliably.
Try to have one adult for each group to avoid carrying germs from group to group.
If mixing child groups is necessary, minimize the number of people involved and emphasize careful hand-washing when moving from group to group and within mixed groups.
Special precautions for infectious diarrhea:
Strictly enforce all hand-washing, diapering, toileting, and cleaning procedures.
Exclude children with diarrhea not explained by a change of diet or use of medication AND whose stool is not contained by use of the toilet.
Return guidelines: Excluded children and caregivers may come back when the diarrhea is gone, they are well, or when they have assumed a new stool pattern for a week or so that seems to be their new normal pattern.
Infectious diarrhea is caused by viruses, parasites, or bacteria and can spread quickly from person to person.
Noninfectious diarrhea can be caused by food allergies, food intolerances (such as milk/ lactose), toxins (certain types of food poisoning), chronic diseases, or antibiotics or other medication. Noninfectious diarrhea does not spread from person to person.
Gloves provide a protective barrier against germs that cause infections. Use gloves made of disposable latex. If you’re allergic to latex, use vinyl gloves.
Wearing gloves does not replace the need to wash your hands. Latex and vinyl gloves are a good barrier, but they may not be completely non-porous.
Wearing gloves reduces contamination, but does not eliminate it.
If the gloves become contaminated while you are wearing them, be sure to remove them before touching clean surfaces.
Disposable gloves should be worn:
When contact with blood or blood-containing fluids is likely, particularly if the caregiver’s hands have open cuts or sores. For instance, when providing first aid or changing a diaper with bloody diarrhea.
When cleaning surfaces contaminated with blood or body fluids, such as large amounts of vomit or feces.