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Infection Prevention
What You Need to Know About Viruses
Dan Mayworm
Publish Date: June 9, 2008   |  Tags:   Infection Prevention
Infection control personnel have two key "enemies" that they must fight on a daily basis-bacteria and viruses. Because viruses are invisible to all but the most powerful microscopes, their structure and mode of operation have been a mystery until fairly recently. Today, however, we understand something of how these agents function, and we've made progress in finding ways to inactivate them. Here we'll shed light on both of these issues.

What are the viruses we need to contend with in the outpatient surgery environment?
VIRUS (def) An ultramicroscopic, metabolically inert, infectious agent that replicates only within the cells of a living host. A virus is composed of an RNA or DNA core, a protein coat, and, in complex types, a surrounding envelope. In broad terms, viruses are either lipophilic (enveloped) or hydrophilic (naked).

The viruses we need to deal with in the outpatient surgery setting are bloodborne disease viruses (viral hepatitis types B