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active immunity
immunity that results from the production of antibodies to help protect the body from a pathogen that has entered the body
airborne precaution
a practice indicated for patients known or suspected to be infected with pathogens that are transmitted through droplet nuclei
airborne transmission
the spread of pathogens that are carried by dust or the nuclei of an evaporated droplet and remain suspended in the air
antibody (also, immunoglobulin)
a protein created in the body in response to an antigen in order to fight the identified substance or toxin
anything the immune system recognizes as a foreign object or substance and subsequently initiates formation of antibodies
the state of being free from disease-causing contaminants
chain of infection
the six stages of infection that must be present for the transmission of a pathogen from one place or person to another
contact precaution
a practice implemented for patients who have known or suspected infections that can be transmitted through direct skin-to-skin contact or indirect contact with environmental surfaces or equipment
convalescent period
the time when recovery and healing begin
direct transmission
the spread of a pathogen that is transmitted directly from an infected person
the process of removing microorganisms and disease-causing pathogens from inanimate objects
droplet precaution
a practice implemented when patients are known or suspected to be infected with pathogens transmitted by respiratory droplets from coughing, sneezing, and talking
droplet transmission
the spread of a pathogen that travels through a spray of water droplets that are released when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks
a rise in core body temperature
healthcare-associated infection (HAI)
an infection that is acquired while receiving medical treatment in a healthcare facility
illness period
the third stage of infection, which starts when a person experiences the specific signs and symptoms of a disease
incubation period
the initial stage of infection when a pathogen successfully enters into a new host
indirect transmission
the spread of a pathogen to a new host through an intermediary, such as the air, food, water, animals, or objects
infection control
the discipline of stopping or preventing the spread of infectious agents
inflammatory response
one of the first responses when a pathogen breaches the nonspecific innate immune system; it aids in the recruitment of cellular defenses to remove pathogens
medical asepsis
techniques and procedures used to decrease the potential for the spread of microorganisms and infection
medical isolation gown
a garment worn in the healthcare setting as a broad barrier against blood or bodily fluids
a single-celled organism that is microscopic in size and too small to be seen by the naked eye
multidrug-resistant organisms
a bacterium that has become resistant to certain antibiotics
N95 respirator mask
a tight-fitting mask that protects the wearer from very small particles that float in the air
normal flora
microorganisms that can live on another living organism or inanimate object without causing diseases or complications
passive immunity
the result of antibodies being passed from one person to another
any type of microorganism that causes disease to its host
personal protective equipment (PPE)
a means of barrier protection for eyes, nose, mouth, and skin from exposure to blood and other potentially infectious bodily fluids and materials
portal of entry
the site at which a pathogen enters the susceptible host
portal of exit
the path by which the pathogen leaves the reservoir
prodromal period
the second stage of infection, which begins at the initial appearance of mild or vague symptoms
the habitat or source of the pathogen that provides a place for survival and growth
the removal of visible soil from objects and materials
the body’s extreme response to a widespread infection
needles and other objects, such as lancets, razor blades, scissors, clamps, pins, staples, and glass items
standard precaution
the first tier of precautions to protect healthcare staff and patients
sterile gloves
a glove that is free from microorganisms and individually packaged as a pair to remain free of pathogens
sterile technique
practices and procedures that inhibit microorganisms in a specific environment and prevent contamination
a procedure that eliminates all microorganisms in or on an object
surgical asepsis
the absence of all microorganisms within any type of invasive procedure; requires the use of sterile technique
surgical gown
a garment worn by healthcare personnel during a surgical procedure to protect both the patient and the personnel from transmission of pathogens
surgical mask
a mask that prevents transmission of large particle droplet matter generated through coughing or splash-generating procedures
susceptible host
the organism that is susceptible to or at risk for infection
the method that a pathogen uses to spread from one host to another
transmission-based precaution
a practice implemented in situations where standard precautions are not adequate to prevent infection transmission
vector transmission
the spread of a pathogen that occurs when blood-feeding arthropods infect animals or humans
an infectious disease that can naturally transmit from animal to human

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