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revised June 03, 2011

Arrow BulletCommunicable Diseases - Infection Prevention and Control


Background and history

  • Infection prevention and control programs are important in maintaining our health and wellbeing. They include a wide range of activities from education to surveillance and research.
  • Infection prevention and control programs were first established, in hospitals, in the late 1950s. They addressed concerns about the increase in bacterial infections due to Staphylococcal bacteria. Early programs focused on
    • identifying infections that patients developed when they were hospitalized and
    • isolating infectious patients to prevent the spread of infections in hospitals.
  • In the 1980s and 1990s, infection prevention and control programs were expanded to long-term care facilities and the community.
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Protecting people's health

  • Infection Control Professionals play an important role in safeguarding the health of their clients - patients in hospitals, residents in long-term care facilities, children in daycares, students in schools, and people in the community.
  • Infection prevention and control programs have contributed to significant progress in preventing the spread of infections. Today, we are more knowledgeable about how infections are spread and what we can do to stop them from spreading.
  • Peel Health in partnership with the Infection Control Professionals in Peel's acute care facilities and community agencies promotes infection prevention, control and immunization messages to health professionals and people who live and work in Peel.
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How you can prevent infections

  1. Wash your hands:
    • before handling or eating food
    • after using the toilet
    • after sneezing or wiping your nose
    • whenever hands are dirty

    Handwashing is one of the most important interventions that we can do to protect ourselves and our families from infections.

  2. Cover your nose and mouth when you cough and sneeze
  3. Stay home if you are sick, don't spread your germs
  4. Keep your immunization up to date.


  5. Immunization throughout our lives makes our immune system stronger and helps prevent the spread of communicable diseases, such as polio, diphtheria, measles and others.

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National Infection Control Week

  • The third week in October is designated as National Infection Control Week.
  • In Canada, Infection Control Week originated in 1988 to raise awareness about the importance of infection prevention activities and to highlight the work of Infection Control Professionals. The federal government proclaimed Infection Control Week as an annual event in 1989.
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Revised: June 03, 2011

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