Acute Communicable
Disease Control

Contact Information
County of Los Angeles
Department of Public Health
Acute Communicable Disease Control
313 N. Figueroa Street, #212
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Phone: (213) 240-7941
Fax: (213) 482-4856

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Acute Communicable Disease Control
Healthcare Associated Infections & Infection Control 
(See also Hospital Outreach Unit and Healthcare Associated Infections.)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines healthcare associated infections (HAI) as infections that patients acquire during the course of receiving treatment for other conditions within a healthcare setting. This term, sometimes used synonymously with the term hospital-acquired infections, has largely replaced the word "nosocomial", which was limited to infections occurring in hospitals only. 

HAI are frequently caused by organisms that have acquired antimicrobial resistance and is a major problem worldwide. Of greatest concern are drug resistant bacteria such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), vancomycin resistant enterococci (VRE), Clostridium difficile and Carbapenum-Resistant Klebsiella Pneumoniae (CRKP).

Infection control in health care settings is important to reduce transmission of HAI between patients and health care workers. The single most important measure to reduce infections is proper handwashing (or the use of disinfectant alcohol solutions) for health care workers. Patient-centered strategies for effective infection control include isolation precautions to the spread of infectious agents and use of protective barriers (gloves, gowns, masks). Healthcare worker-centered strategies include handwashing, regular infection control education, use of protective barriers, work restrictions for exposed or infected workers, and immunizations for vaccine-preventable diseases. Environmental cleaning, disinfection, and sterilization are also an important part of infection control.

Additional infection control measures recommended by the CDC include collaborating with the infection control department in monitoring and investigating potentially harmful infectious exposures and outbreaks among patients and personnel and maintenance and confidentiality of patient and personnel health records. Infection control is not limited to outbreak investigation, but is continual surveillance to look for rising trends in HAI and ongoing reinforcement of education.

LAC DPH Policy and Guidance for Visitors in Healthcare Settings -- 2018

2016 Special Report: Infection Control Assessments Partnership with EMS

2016 Special Report: ASC ICAR Special Study

Los Angeles County Healthcare-Associated Infections: 2015 Regional Summary Report  Adobe PDF Document

Healthcare-Associated Outbreaks General Acute Care Hospitals: 2010 Summary Los Angeles County  Adobe PDF Document

Healthcare-Associated Outbreaks Sub-Acute Facilities: 2010 Summary Los Angeles County  Adobe PDF Document

Infection Control Resources

Program Websites


Antibiotic Resistance / Special Projects

Surveillance System

Infection Control/Infectious Disease Organizations

The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) and the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) are national, non-governmental organizations dedicated to infection control in healthcare facilities. They both publish regular journals (American Journal of Infection Control and Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, respectively) that have papers on outbreak investigations, policy statements, etc. Additionally, both provide current news and training courses on infection control issues.

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