SHEA-IDSA-APIC Letter on Federal PPE Guidance November 5, 2009.OSHA) requirements concerning the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) by healthcare workers in treating suspected or confirmed cases of H1N1 influenza.

A bioaerosol (short for biological aerosol) is a suspension of airborne particles that contain living organisms or were released from living organisms.[1] These particles are very small and range in size from less than one micrometer (0.00004") to one hundred micrometers (0.004"). Bioaerosols react to air currents and move quickly or slowly depending on the environment. Bioaerosols are impacted by gravity but due to their size air density and air currents play a large role in their movement. The intact cellular component has been given the name, primary biological aerosol (PBA), which consists of virus particles, bacteria, fungal spores and plant pollen. PBA can range in size from 10 nanometers (small virus particles) to 100 micrometers (pollen grains). The atmospheric lifetime of PBA particles can range from a near indefinite time frame for some of the smallest virus particles to a few hours for the larger pollen particles.

More than 1.5 million people reside in U.S. nursing facilities. In recent years the acuity of nursing facility residents has increased and therefore they have a higher risk for developing nosocomial infections. The term "nosocomial" is an institutional associated infection (infectious agent) typically found in acute care hospitals and nursing facilities where there is a susceptible host (compromised patient/resident) and a means of transmission.

What is H1N1 (swine flu)?

H1N1 (sometimes called “swine flu”) is a new influenza virus causing illness in people. This new virus was first detected in people in the United States in April 2009. This virus is spreading from person-to-person worldwide, probably in much the same way that regular seasonal influenza viruses spread. On June 11, 2009, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that a pandemic of 2009 H1N1 flu was underway.


The Guideline for Infection Control in Hospital Personnel is part of the Guidelines for Prevention and Control of Nosocomial Infections. The CDC guidelines were developed to provide a central reference for professionals involved in infection control that contains CDC recommendations and is easily accessible to the infection control personnel in hospitals. It should be emphasized that these guidelines represent the advice of CDC on questions commonly asked of the Hospital Infections Program, but are not intended to have the force of law or regulation. These guidelines can be expected to change in response to the acquisition of new knowledge.

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