A1 Infection Prevention and Control in the Healthcare Setting


  • Infectious agents (also called pathogens) are biological agents that cause disease or illness to their hosts. Many infectious agents are present in healthcare settings.
  • Infection requires three main elements — a source of the infectious agent, a mode of transmission and a susceptible host.
  • Patients and healthcare workers are most likely to be sources of infectious agents and are also the most common susceptible hosts. Other people visiting and working in health care may also be at risk of both infection and transmission. In some cases, HAIs are serious or even life threatening.
  • In healthcare settings, the main modes for transmission of infectious agents are contact (including bloodborne), droplet and airborne.