ABIM Exam Review Practice Question of the Week: Infectious Diseases Precautions
Which of the following infections requires both contact and airborne precautions so that non-infected people do not become infected?
A. Clostridium difficile (C. diff)
B. Influenza virus
C. Mycobacterium tuberculosis
D. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection
E. Herpes zoster virus with more than two dermatomes involved
Standard hand washing should be done as a precautionary measure for all infected patients. However, further contact, droplet and airborne precautions should be taken for certain infectious diseases.
Let’s go through the answer choices to find the disease that requires both contact and airborne precautions.
• Choice A (C. diff infection) only requires contact precautions. This can be done by wearing gloves and a gown before entering the room of a patient infected with or suspected of having C. diff.
• Choice B (Influenza) requires droplet precautions. This can be completed by wearing a mask.
• Choice C (Mycobacterium tuberculosis) requires airborne precautions. This can be completed by wearing a mask and also placing the patient in a negative pressure room.
• Choice D (MRSA infection) requires contact precautions only.
• Choice E (Infection with Herpes zoster virus with more than two dermatomes involved) requires both contact and airborne precautions. Patients who have Herpes zoster infection just along one or two dermatomes only require contact precautions.
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