ways infections spread

with Covid-19 in full swing some may be confused or even curious on how infections can spread so I wanted to share my knowledge of epidemiology with you my readers.

My educational background: I have a Masters degree in Public health, I am a medical auditor and compliance officer for a multi-specialty group practice. I am not a doctor and do not claim to be all of the opinions reflected in this article are mine I will also link out to all of my references so you can research further on your own.

I believe everyone should be able to confirm facts that have been put out there for themselves don’t just take peoples word for it.

Ways infections spread

  • respiratory droplets contain the infection in the case of COVID-19 it is the virus, when people speak, sing, cough, sneeze, and breathe these respiratory droplets exit the body and can land on other people or surfaces that other people can then touch and contract by then touching their face afterward.
  • Blood– some infections can be transmitted through contact with blood the best example of this is HIV. when the infected persons blood comes in contact with another person the infection can be transmitted.
  • Fecal matter– some infections are transmitted through contact with fecal matter. Very important to wash hands after using the restroom for this reason, if you use the restroom and don’t wash your hands elements from your bowel movement could be on your hands and then when you touch your face(bite your fingernails) eat a meal that bacteria is then passed into your body and could make you sick.

Helpful definitions

  • Vectors– anything that carries the infectious disease such as a insect
  • Contaminated food– Ecoli, Salmonella can enter the body through under cooked food.
  • Community spread– this is when people pass the infection/ virus to each other
  • Nosocomial infections– when someone contracts the infection/ virus from being hospitalized
  • Direct contact– person to person
  • Indirect contact– when the infectious disease is transmitted via a vector(mosquito, tick…) or through touching common surfaces.

We have multiple layers of defenses against infections

  • Skin is the 1st layer defense against infections and when it is intact you are protected from such types of infection transmission, when there is a cut, scrape open wound or needle stick this is when the protection is broken and a person is susceptible to contracting the infection.
  • Immune system- White blood cells, T-Cells, Lymphocytes
  • normal flora- this is normal good for you bacteria that live on and in the body

COVID-19

COVID-19 is a respiratory illness and is spread through respiratory droplets the virus is inside these droplets and once they are in the air they will begin to descend on whatever surface is nearest to it(unsuspecting person, object such as counter top, doorknob, wall, floor…) The virus does not just float or fly around in the air it is contained within those droplets(we cannot see with our naked eye) once it is on a surface the droplet can dry leaving the virus behind, it is still unclear exactly how long the virus can live on surfaces outside the host. Which is why it is imperative to continue good hand washing hygiene and to disinfect common touched surfaces regularly.

How to prevent the spread

  • Hand washing is the number one way to prevent the spread of all infectious diseases
  • PPE– wearing Personal protective equipment such as face coverings and gloves when dealing with an infected person- keep in mind that in order to protect yourself you must wear the PPE properly
  • social distancing– keeping a safe distance from people you don’t know or if you know they are infected
  • cook food properly according to directions refrain from eating raw meat/eggs
  • clean surfaces in kitchen when preparing meat so not to cross contaminate utensils
  • disinfect commonly touched surfaces
  • cough into elbow not hand (you will touch your face or a common area after and could transmit infection)
  • sneeze into elbow away from others
  • refrain from touching your face as much as possible(this is harder than it would seem, wearing a mask helps with that)
  • Stay home if you have a known infectious disease, don’t go to work, school, church or into the community(grocery store, restaurant, mall…) Even if you feel better, you could be shedding the virus actively consult with your doctor to see when it is safe to return to the community.

OPINIONS- everyone has one so do I

There are so many opinions on masking and social distancing now and new ones are popping up everyday that it can be confusing and somewhat difficult to make a decision for your personal health and safety

I will tell you that my opinion has been and continues to be-that masks are a good thing and social distancing is a good thing and here is why

Covid-19 is a respiratory illness that is passed from person to person or from person to object to person (see description above) through respiratory droplets that are expelled from a person while speaking, singing, coughing, sneezing, breathing if those respiratory droplets get in your face it is very likely that you will contract the virus, if you wear a mask this lowers that chance, notice I said lowers that chance nothing is 100% here. being in close proximity with people is not a safe measure now, if you have a mask on it makes it safer.

I have heard from medical professionals even say masks are just for the ill like during flu season so well people don’t need a mask. That is true I agree completely but with COVID-19 there are more asymptomatic individuals who are carrying the virus and spreading the virus unknowingly so my opinion is that we should treat everyone as if they are “ill” and we should also assume we are “ill” wear our masks and stay distanced from other people.

I know and realize that none of this is fun, none of this is convenient but I would much rather wear a mask than a ventilator, think about that the next time you choose to not wear a mask.

Also it is the nicest thing anyone can do for other people right now, and Lord knows we need kindness, thinking of others during this time and wearing a mask or face covering!

When wearing a mask and coming in-contact with a covid-19 infected individual the mask is going to help prevent those droplets containing the virus from entering in, the droplets will get on the outside of the mask getting trapped before the droplet can evaporate releasing the very small virus pathogen. Yes the COVID-19 virus is super small at 1 micron that is very very small and some argue that it can get inside a cloth face covering because the cloth face coverings are not that tightly woven but as I just pointed out the cloth face covering traps the respiratory droplet which is much bigger than 1 micron and will get trapped inside the mask or on the outside of the mask before the droplet can evaporate releasing the pathogen.

I am all about the protection even as minimal as it may be, at least it is something and you are not exposed to a high virus load(the load that you are exposed to will determine how sick you get) of the virus while wearing the mask.

The only mask and it is not even 100% effective but more so than the cloth and surgical masks(not for medical use) that we the general public have access to is the N95 mask but these need to be reserved for healthcare professionals who are dealing with COVID patients up close and personal, we should not be buying N95 masks, using a cloth mask or surgical non-medical use mask are going to be effective for us because we are not in closed rooms with known COVID patients for long periods of time, there is a shortage of these medical grade PPE and we should respect that and only wear non-medical grade PPE.

I have also seen many young people my age a little older and a little younger say “oh this is a old person problem it wont affect me!” That is very ignorant thing to think and to say, COVID-19 is not a respecter of age there are children who are dying from complications to this disease now older individuals are at a greater risk for contracting the disease but anyone any age can get COVID-19


The mask is only effective if worn properly, disposed of or cleaned properly and if you don’t mess with it throughout the day(pulling it up and down multiple times, touching the outside of the mask…), there is no need to wear in a car unless you know a passenger is sick there is no need to wear inside your own home unless you know of someone who has been exposed or is ill. Leaving your home to work, play or run errands that is when having a mask handy to put on is a good idea, you may not have to wear the mask where you are going but having one ready in case you do!

See if both individuals whether you know you have COVID or not wear a mask the risk of spreading it is very low! the risk of spreading it continues to rise with less and less mask wearing so healthy or not consider wearing a mask it could save lives it could save your life!

At the end of the day you are going to have to decide what is best for you and your family I posted the links to my research below, please research it on your own, just make sure the source is reliable!

One more thought before I leave today: When seat-belts became a thing, like mandatory to wear them while driving a car people got all tore up about it saying it took their rights away when in reality it was a protective measure to save their life. When it became mandatory to put a seat-belt on if you are a merely a passenger in the car people got tore up then too, why is this? So masking is really no different, asking you to wear a mask in public is no different than asking you to put a seat-belt on or a helmet on while riding a bike it is a protective measure for you and your family.

Thanks for reading have a great day!

references:

Author: redefineyourclosetwithdanielle

I am a Personal Wardrobe Stylist and Closet Whisperer with Ruby Ribbon! By Day I teach allied Health mainly Medical Coding, I am a Certified Medical Coder, Auditor and Instructor through the AAPC. I love learning new techniques, skills, and subjects, I am currently enrolled at Capella getting my Masters Degree in Public Health! I absolutely love Ruby Ribbon, my business not only helps me to pay for fun activities for my family but also helps me empower women through confidence building clothes and fashion. I have always loved blogs, reading and writing so here I am I hope that you enjoy this blog and if you are interested in learning more about what I do at Ruby Ribbon please contact me!

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