Infection control and prevention
Infection control principles and practices for local public health
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TB | Transmission-based
Transmission-based precautions are used in addition to standard
precautions when use of standard precautions alone does not fully
prevent communicable disease transmission. There are three types of
transmission-based precautions--contact, droplet, and airborne - the
type used depends on the mode of transmission of a specific disease.
Some diseases require more than one type of transmission-based
precaution (e.g. SARS, which requires airborne and contact precautions
as well as eye protection with all client contact).
- Contact Precautions
- Use the following measure in addition to standard precautions
when in contact with individuals known or suspected of having
diseases spread by direct or indirect contact (examples include
norovirus, rotavirus, draining abscesses, head lice).
- Wear gloves and gown when in contact with the individual,
surfaces, or objects within his/her environment.
- All re-usable items taken into an exam room or home should be
cleaned and disinfected before removed. Disposable items should
be discarded at point of use.
- Droplet Precautions
- In addition to standard precautions, wear a surgical mask when
within 3 feet (6 feet for smallpox) of persons known or
suspected of having diseases spread by droplets (examples
include influenza, pertussis, meningococcal disease).
- Airborne Precautions
- Use the following measures in addition to standard precautions
when in contact with individuals known or suspected to have
diseases spread by fine particles dispersed by air currents
(examples include tuberculosis, measles, and SARS).
- Put on a NIOSH-certified fit-tested N-95 respirator just
before entry to an area of shared air space and wear at all
times while in the area of shared air space. Remove and discard
respirator just after exiting area. The respirator may be
discarded into the regular trash unless contact precautions must
also be followed. In this case, place the respirator in a
plastic zip-lock bag, seal and then discard into the trash. A
powered air-purifying respirator (PAPR) may also be used (see
- If available, portable high efficiency particulate air (HEPA)
filtration units may be operated in the area where the infected
individual is located to filter out infectious particles. (Use
of such a unit does NOT eliminate the need for employees to wear
- Eye Protection
- If eye protection is indicated, wear goggles or a face shield
during ALL contact with the individual, not just when splashes
or sprays are anticipated, as with standard precautions.
Precautions CDC Guidelines (Exit DHS)
Gwen Borlaug, Infection Control Epidemiologist
Wisconsin Division of Public Health
Bureau of Communicable Diseases and Emergency Response
(Phone 608-267-7711) (Fax 608-261-4976)
March 04, 2014