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What are pathogens and why do we need to protect against them?

Bacteria are present in most human and natural environments on earth, growing in water, waste, soil and the live bodies of people, plants and animals. Bacteria are living organisms that are neither plants nor animals, but belong to a group all by themselves.

Individually they are generally not more than one single cell, however there are normally millions of them together due to their ability to rapidly multiply. There are typically 40 million bacterial cells in a gram of soil and a million bacterial cells in a millilitre of fresh water.

There are approximately ten times as many bacterial cells as there are human cells in the body, with large numbers of bacteria on our skin and in the human gut. The vast majority of the bacteria in the body are rendered harmless by the protective effects of the human immune system and a few are beneficial.

However, a growing number of bacterial forms are pathogenic and cause illness, poor health and infectious disease. Microorganisms that cause diseases are called pathogens. They are specialised to infect body tissues where they reproduce and cause damage that gives rise to the symptoms of the infection.

The concern in healthcare

The World Health Organisation is particularly concerned at the rising presence of nosocomial (healthcare acquired infections) contracted in hospital and healthcare environments.

Healthcare-associated infections are those which were not present [and without evidence of incubation] at the time of admission to a healthcare setting. Within hours after admission, a patient's flora begins to acquire characteristics of the surrounding bacterial pool, and HAI infections are responsible for numerous deaths worldwide each year.

With this alarming rise in infections, it's critically important to consider ways of supporting healthier environments through utilising antimicrobial technology in textiles and foam. Within a healthcare environment this can include:

- Staff Uniforms

- Bedding

- Curtains & Upholstery

- Laundry Solutions

Read more about Fresche's innovative Quatlock technology here.

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