What are Emerging Pathogens?
Emerging Pathogens Definition
Emerging pathogens refer to newly identified or previously unknown infectious agents that cause public health challenges. They can include bacteria, viruses, fungi, or other microorganisms that have recently caused human diseases or existing pathogens that have developed new abilities to infect humans, such as antibiotic resistance or enhanced virulence. Examples include the SARS-CoV-2 virus responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic and multidrug-resistant strains of bacteria.
Facility maintenance companies play a crucial role in controlling and preventing the spread of emerging pathogens by:
- Implementing Enhanced Cleaning Protocols: Regular and thorough cleaning of high-touch surfaces using EPA-approved disinfectants effective against a broad spectrum of pathogens.
- Educating Staff: Training employees on proper cleaning techniques, the importance of using PPE, and staying updated on the latest guidance from public health authorities.
- Maintaining Indoor Air Quality: Installing and maintaining HVAC systems with proper filtration to reduce the spread of airborne pathogens.
- Infection Control: Using color-coded cleaning equipment to prevent cross-contamination and promote no-touch disposal systems to minimize contact with contaminated materials.
- Emergency Response Readiness: Having a plan for dealing with outbreaks, including rapid response teams and protocols for decontamination.
- Proactive Communication: Keeping open lines of communication with clients about the measures being taken and adjustments to cleaning protocols as new information about emerging pathogens becomes available.
By taking these steps, facility maintenance companies can help reduce the spread of emerging pathogens and reassure clients and the public that proactive and preventive measures are in place to maintain safe and healthy environments.