New York State Department of Health Recognizes International Infection Prevention Week

Week Highlights the Importance of Infection Prevention and Control Practices to Prevent Health Care Associated Infections

This Year's Theme is "Celebrating the FUNdamentals of Infection Prevention"

ALBANY, N.Y. (October 17, 2023) – The New York State Department of Health recognizes the importance of infection prevention and control practices during Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology's (APIC's) annual International Infection Prevention Week, taking place from October 15-21. The annual observation, spearheaded by APIC, highlights the importance of both infection prevention professionals and infection prevention and control practices.

"Preventing and controlling the spread of infections is an important part of staying healthy, whether in a clinical setting or at home," State Health Commissioner Dr. James McDonald said. "We accomplish this by making informed, educated decisions in our daily lives. As a pediatrician for many years, I thank our infection control and prevention specialists who work in clinical settings across the state who are dedicated to protecting and bettering the lives of all New Yorkers."

Infection Prevention Week started in 1986, and this year's theme is, "Celebrating the FUNdamentals of Infection Prevention." The goal of the campaign is to help patients, families, and health care professionals revisit basic infection prevention and control practices at home and in clinical settings like hospitals and nursing homes, and to emphasize that everyone has a role in preventing infections.

Receiving care in hospitals or other health care settings can leave patients vulnerable to infections. In the U.S., approximately one in 31 hospitalized people will have a health care associated infection on any given day. Infection preventionists (IPs) play a key role in preventing infections and controlling outbreaks across the health care spectrum and in public health.

The Department joins APIC in encouraging everyone - health care staff, patients, and families - to help prevent infections by:

  • Practicing good handwashing.
  • Taking antibiotics only when needed.
  • Watching for signs of infections and complications, such as sepsis.
  • Getting vaccinated against influenza and other infections.

Additionally, patients in hospitals and nursing home residents should practice the following:

  • Tell a health care provider about recent infections or care that was provided from somewhere else, including outside the U.S.
  • Ask a health care provider what they will do to prevent an antimicrobial-resistant infection.
  • Allow health care providers to check for resistant germs if needed.
  • Understand that health care providers may wear gowns and gloves when treating some infections.
  • Understand rooms will be cleaned and disinfected on a regular basis.

APIC's Infection Prevention and You is hosting scheduled educational opportunities for each day of the campaign week, highlighting activities, messages, resources, and information to aid in the prevention and spread of illnesses.

Learn more at Daily FUNdamentals (