Staying informed and up-to-date on the latest news and developments in the dental industry is essential for us. One way to do this is by listening to the Compliance Divas podcasts that focus on important topics such as dental infection prevention and control. These podcasts provide valuable information and insights on how to maintain a safe and compliant dental practice software by following dental infection control protocols. In this article, we will share one of their top podcasts that covers the topic of infection statistics and control at the beginning of 2023. You can listen to it here: https://www.buzzsprout.com/1774326/11993585-86-updates-on-infection-control-covid-19-sub-variants-rsv-influenza-and-more
"As the new year begins, we are reminded of the ongoing challenges in infection prevention and control. These challenges have been exacerbated by the emergence of new variants of the coronavirus. In this episode, the Divas delve into some of the most pressing issues related to infection prevention and control, including the impact of these new variants and the measures that can be taken to mitigate their spread. As we move forward in the new year, it is crucial that we remain vigilant and proactive in our efforts to prevent the spread of infection and protect public health.
The CDC reports that seasonal influenza activity is declining in most areas, but 61 pediatric deaths have been reported this season. Overall, there have been 20 million illnesses, 210,000 hospitalizations, and 13,000 deaths from the flu. The new Omicron sub-variant, XBB 1.5, is a concern as it is more infectious and evasive to vaccines. The CDC estimates that 40% of confirmed COVID cases are from this strain, so be aware of symptoms such as sore throat, hoarseness, cough, fatigue, nasal congestion, runny nose, headache, and muscle aches.
The number of invasive group A strep infections, primarily in children, is increasing. These infections can lead to severe conditions such as necrotizing fasciitis (flesh eating disease), toxic shock syndrome, and cellulitis. Historically, strep was considered a minor illness treated with antibiotics, but now dental practices must take precautions to prevent spread of the disease by refusing treatment for children with symptoms despite having PPE on dental professionals.
The recent study by Harvard School of Dental Medicine titled "Dentists and Covid Risks: No Increased Risk for Dental Practitioners During Clinical Activities" has been widely cited by various organizations such as the American Dental Association and American Hygienist Association. However, it is important to note that the study's conclusion that there is no increased risk for dental practitioners during clinical activities is misleading. The study found no cases of Covid among dental students at Harvard due to the use of N95 respirators and other appropriate personal protective equipment. The study also did not have a control group for comparison. Therefore, it is important to read the study in its entirety and not rely solely on the headline before drawing conclusions.
Therefore, it is crucial to wear the appropriate PPE to protect from various respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19. Standard precautions should always be followed and using N 95 respirators should not be dismissed.