At the end of November, more than 30 employees were in the warehouse of the Ozone market in the Moscow region. got sick contagious meningitis, most ended up in intensive care. Workers lived in a 4-5 person dormitory in one room, and such crowding apparently was the cause of the rapid spread of the infection. “Gazeta.ru” learned from doctors whether buyers are at risk of contracting meningitis and what other diseases can threaten them.
A meningococcal infection is virtually impossible for a person who receives a package collected by an infected worker – the lifespan of these bacteria in the external environment is so low that they die completely during childbirth.
“Meningococci do not survive long outside of a host, and human-to-human transmission requires relatively close contact between hosts, but not between an individual and a package that is delivered hours after the order is placed.
Meningococcus is transmitted from person to person through respiratory secretions and close contact with each other. It is impossible to get bacteria through accidental contact or breathing air in a place where a patient with a meningococcal infection is present, Alena Khripkova, general practitioner of the SberHealth medical online service, told socialbites.ca.
However, the cause of meningitis can be other infectious agents that can quite reach the recipient of the package. Influenza viruses, adenoviruses, and enteroviruses can cause serous meningitis.
“Every year with the advent of the” cold season “there is an increase in the incidence of serous meningitis,” said associate professor of the Department of Infectious Diseases in Children at the Russian National Research Medical University, in an interview with socialbites.ca. . Pirogov, candidate of medical sciences Ivan Konovalov.
Konovalov noted that most respiratory viruses are unstable in the external environment and quickly become ineffective when the mucus and sputum drops from coughing and sneezing of patients dry up. In general, these pathogens rarely cause serious illness compared to meningococci (with the exception of the novel coronavirus and influenza virus), but can still be dangerous for people with weakened immune systems and chronic illnesses.
Still, some pathogens have a chance to enter the body of the recipient of the package.
“Some pathogens can persist for a period of time.
For example, if the collector or courier has symptoms of a respiratory infection, sneezing and coughing, respectively, it can get on the surface of the package. After delivery, it may not take that long for the pathogen to become inactivated, and then the customer risks becoming infected with his own hands, which he came into contact with the contaminated surface, ”Konovalov explained.
You can also suffer from intestinal diseases – some pathogens of intestinal infections can survive for days in the external environment.
It is possible to transmit pathogens that cause intestinal infections – this applies primarily to bacterial pathogens during the delivery of ready-made food. Shigella, Salmonella, Campylobacter, Escherichia coli. Hepatitis A viruses as well as noroviruses and rotaviruses. Such pathogens can remain in food and household items for several days, and a person can actually become infected if there is no habit of washing hands before eating and there is full confidence in the sterility of the delivered products. We see this more often in organized groups, for example, in kindergartens – young children are not accustomed enough to hygiene and therefore suffer from intestinal infections. But children, toys, household items, etc.
Most people face respiratory and intestinal infections in their lifetime and recover from them safely.
However, these diseases are dangerous for children of the first years of life, the elderly and those with chronic pathology – for them, an encounter with an ordinary pathogen of ARVI can lead to complications and even death.
However, transmission by contact with coli remains a not quite insignificant route of infection – Konovalov notes that most often infections are transmitted by other means. However, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of delivery services has increased drastically and now continues to be in high demand, posing certain risks, especially for the delivery of prepared foods. A restaurant can operate in ideal sanitary and hygienic conditions, which is not always the case with courier services. The threat can be minimized with fairly simple hygiene measures.
“As with COVID-19 and other similar diseases, avoiding infection is simple: wash your hands. This applies to contact with any surface outside the circle,” says Khripkova.
“With the increase in the incidence of respiratory infections, we all remember that it is very important to wash your hands for protection, especially in public places.
For example, in offices, people hold doorknobs, then touch their mucous membranes and if there is a pathogen on the handle, they can infect themselves, this is called autoinoculation. As for food preparations, it is necessary to mechanically wash or heat-treat the products before eating, and before using the delivered ready meals, it is imperative to monitor the integrity of the packaging, ”says Konovalov.
Hygiene control and epidemiological surveillance are also important at delivery points and catering establishments where products are delivered to customers. Once a case of the disease is detected, it is important to contain the outbreak to prevent its spread. Meningococcal epidemic now in ozone store under control In Rospotrebnadzor.
Barbara Dickson is a seasoned writer for “Social Bites”. She keeps readers informed on the latest news and trends, providing in-depth coverage and analysis on a variety of topics.