N95 Respirators: Everything You Need to Know


Wearing N95s

A respirator keeps you from breathing in particles in the air that might hurt you, like germs, dust, and chemicals. In healthcare, we use respirators when we think we’re going to be in a situation when we could breathe in air that’s carrying infectious particles – like viruses. Air-Purifying Respirators There are different types of respirators available in healthcare. Air-purifying respirators work by using filters, or canisters or cartridges, to remove dangerous things from the air that you could breathe in. There are many types of air-purifying respirators. Healthcare workers often use a filtering facepiece respirator (FFR), which fit snugly against the face and cover the mouth and nose. The most common type of FFR used in healthcare is the N95 respirator – more ...

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Long COVID: How Latinos Can Help Enhance Recovery from COVID-19


Long COVID

While most people who have COVID-19 recover completely within a few weeks, some continue to experience symptoms weeks after their initial recovery. This condition is often called Long COVID. Common signs and symptoms of Long COVID include fatigue, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, cough, joint pain, chest pain, and even organ damage, according to the Mayo Clinic. But we don’t know everything about the long-term health effects of COVID-19 infection. You can help researchers learn more about Long COVID through research studies, such as RECOVER, a National Institute of Health (NIH) study to better prevent, test, and treat Long COVID-19 in the future. Find a recover testing site near you! RECOVER Research Study The NIH launched RECOVER to learn why some people ...

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How Do I Safely Use a Multi-Dose Vaccine Vial?


Multidose vaccine

Many vaccines, including the current vaccines for COVID-19, come in small bottles with more than one dose inside. These are known as multiple-dose, or “multi-dose” vials, and can be used to vaccinate more than one patient. Multi-Dose Vials and Infection Control Multi-dose vials are more likely to become contaminated compared to single-dose vials, and therefore require important injection safety actions. “Multi-dose vials are more likely to get dirty because you’re putting a needle into that bottle many times to pull out each dose for each separate vaccine,” said Dr. Abigail Carlson, an infectious diseases physician with the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), as part of CDC Project Firstline’s Inside Infection Control video series. If the vial gets ...

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Latinos, Are You Prepared for the BA.2.12.1 Variant?


COVID-19 vaccine

The COVID-19 saga continues as the virus continues to mutate, and the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) identify new subvariants of the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The CDC is studying a new subvariant, called BA.2.12.1, to determine how it spreads and how well existing treatments and vaccines for COVID-19 work against it. “[BA.2.12.1 and other subvariants of Omicron] are more contagious with more immune escape, and they are driving a lot of the increases in infection that we’re seeing across the nation right now,” said Dr. Ashish Jha, White House Covid-19 response coordinator, according to Vox. Latinos, who are disproportionately affected by COVID-19 hardships, are still struggling to recover from the initial hit of the ...

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What is PPE?



You may be wearing PPE on your face right now. A mask is a common form of PPE, or “personal protective equipment,” as are respirators, gowns, gloves and eye protection frequently worn by frontline healthcare workers. These all help protect the wearer – you! – from germs that can make people sick. But they have a second important function, too. “So, the unique thing about PPE in healthcare is that it actually serves two purposes, and both of those purposes are really important. One part is to protect you, but the other part is to protect your patient and coworkers from germs that you might be carrying,” said Dr. Abigail Carlson, an infectious diseases physician with the CDC, as part of CDC Project Firstline’s Inside Infection Control video series. What is PPE and ...

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What’s a Respiratory Droplet and Why Does It Matter?


infection control respiratry droplets sick man coughing and spreading disease

Different viruses are spread in different ways. The main way that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, spreads between people is by respiratory droplets. “In this case, a ‘droplet’ doesn’t just mean water that you can see, like big raindrops or splashes in the sink or a pool,” said Dr. Abigail Carlson, an infectious diseases physician with the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), as part of CDC Project Firstline’s Inside Infection Control video series. “These droplets we’re talking about are actually really tiny, and where they come from may surprise you.” Where Do Respiratory Droplets Come From? You might think that when you breathe out, all that comes out is air. But our breath contains water too, in the form of respiratory droplets. ...

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Why Do Cleaning and Disinfection Matter in Healthcare?


saludfirstline cdc project firstline infection control cleaning disinfection

Cleaning removes dust, dirt, and germs from surfaces and objects. Disinfection makes sure that as many germs as possible are destroyed or killed. Cleaning and disinfection are both important infection control actions in hospitals and other healthcare settings because they keep germs away from people and help keep germs from spreading. Seems like common sense, right? “Even though it’s common sense, it’s important to think through all the reasons why we’re so careful about keeping an environment clean,” said Dr. Abigail Carlson, an infectious diseases physician with the CDC, as part of CDC Project Firstline’s Inside Infection Control video series. The Importance of Cleaning and Disinfection: The Immune System When we are healthy, our bodies have many built-in ways to ...

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Women Comment on How COVID-19 Is Impacting Women’s Health


latina covid

The National Institute of Health (NIH) Office of Research on Women’s Health is seeking comments on how to improve treatment for the intersection of women’s health and COVID-19. COVID-19 has impacted all women, but Latinas have been consistently at high risk. Not only has the disease disproportionately hit this population, but it also has caused delays in screenings and care for other women’s health issues. Responses will be accepted through Friday May 6, 2022. Update 5/20/22: 10 women submitted comments. See a sampling of comments below. Comments Submitted by Women via Salud America! Here are a few comments submitted to the NIH Office of Research on Women’s Health: "I had Covid in December with pneumonia. I was in bed for two and a half weeks and thought I was ...

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Contact Time: What is It and How Does it Impact Infection Control?


contact time for disinfection cleaning hospital bed with gloves and mask

We know germs can cause illnesses. We also know that frontline healthcare workers can take action to protect themselves, their colleagues, and their patients from infectious disease threats. Cleaning and disinfecting are two of these important actions for infection control. A fundamental part of this process is “contact time.” This is the amount of time a disinfectant must sit on a surface, without being wiped away or disturbed. Contact time allows the disinfectant to do its job: Killing germs. “There are a lot of germs in healthcare. That's no surprise to any of us,” said Dr. Abigail Carlson, an infectious diseases physician with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as part of CDC Project Firstline’s Inside Infection Control video ...

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