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3 – HSC CM5: Infection Prevention and Control in Health and Social Care

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1.1 Describe types of microbiological organisms that cause disease.

Studying microorganisms that are too small to be seen by the eyes is known as microbiology. Bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoa are the different categories of microbiological organisms that cause diseases.

Bacteria: Bacteria are the most common type of microorganism, and they cause diseases by causing infections. Most bacteria are harmless, but some can cause severe illnesses in humans. Bacteria can be found in soil, water, and air. They are single-celled organisms classified according to their shape (e.g., rod-shaped or spherical), and they can be found in nearly every environment. Examples of diseases caused by bacteria include tuberculosis, pneumonia, and meningitis.

Virus: A virus is a microorganism that can only reproduce by infecting cells and using the machinery of the host cell to create more copies of itself. Viruses cause diseases such as influenza, HIV/AIDS, and Ebola. A virus particle (or virion) consists of genetic material (DNA or RNA) enclosed in a protein coat called a capsid. Some viruses also have an envelope composed of lipids (fats).

Viruses are classified according to their shape: spherical viruses are called bacteriophages; rod-shaped viruses are referred to as mycoplasma; helical viruses resemble spiral-shaped bacteria; complex shapes include filamentous and brick-shaped virions.

Fungi: Fungi are single-celled organisms that grow on dead material like leaves or wood chips. They secrete chemicals called mycotoxins which can damage crops and make people sick if ingested. Some fungi cause deadly fungal pneumonia (a lung infection caused by spores from fungus) in people with asthma attacks triggered by allergens such as mouldy hay or feathers. Moulds also produce dangerous toxins that can harm your health if you inhale them. Fungal infections occur more commonly during cold weather when respiratory conditions worsen due to congestion. For example, Athlete’s Foot fungus usually affects people who wear shoes and socks all day in a moist environment, such as in locker rooms or showers.

Protozoa: Protozoa are single-celled organisms that live in water and soil. Many protozoa cause disease by infecting humans through contaminated food or water. For example, the parasite Giardia

Other answers in the full document:

  • 2.1. Explain the features of vector borne disease
  • 3.1. Describe how pathogenic micro-organisms are transmitted.
  • 3.2. Explain why individuals may be more vulnerable to infection.
  • 3.3. Describe the body’s defence mechanisms against infection.
  • 3.4. Explain how to break the chain of infection.
  • 4.1. Explain methods of micro-organism control:
  • 5.1. Explain the importance of personal hygiene and attire in relation to infection control.
  • 5.2. Explain the correct hand-washing technique.
  • 5.3. Explain the use of personal protective equipment.
  • 5.4. Explain the process of safe waste disposal for:
    – Body fluids
    – Linen
    – Sharps and equipment
  • 6.1. Use the correct hand-washing technique.
  • 6.2. Use personal protective equipment.
  • 6.3. Dispose of waste safely.
  • 7.1. Evaluate the use of drugs to control and treat infectious diseases.
  • 7.2. Explain how antimicrobial resistance occurs.
  • 8.1. Explain the requirements of RIDDOR in relation to infection prevention and control.
  • 8.2. Explain the requirements of COSHH in relation to infection prevention and control.
  • 9.1. Analyse the role and responsibilities of the health and social care practitioner in relation to infection prevention and control

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