What Is Chain of Infection? How to Break It?

chain of infection can be powerful when the condition for the infection is right. You need to take an action to break the chain by doing the tips above or ask a professional healthcare

Chain of infection is like a circle of the infection that describes the source of the infection to how it spreads and affects people. If you see the chain of infection diagram then it will be easy to understand. Remember that infection will only spread at the right condition. So, in this circle of infection, all is connected. It is important to break the chain to stop the infection from spreading.

Source of Chain of Infection

If you see the chain of infection pictures, then you will know that there are some sources that cause infection. They are;

  1. Bacteria

Bacteria survive in all environments. Their spores are tougher. Bacteria cause food poisoning and also infectious diseases to human.

  1. Virus

Virus can survive as well as reproduce inside the single living cell. It can be in animal and plant even bacteria. They are strong when in the living cell, outside living cell, they are not strong.

  1. Fungus

Fungus likes to live in warm, moist and dark places.

How They Spread

The chain of infection makes those three as the main actor. The next question is how they will spread. Let’s see here.

  1. Contact

The chain of infection can be started from the contact from one person to another. It is like a healthcare worker who has infection right on their hands. He or she can pass the infection to other people. The contact can be from a person to a touched object. For example, an infected person will spread infection to the object that he touches like door, bed rail, pen or others.

  1. Droplets

It is a very small drop of the liquid that exit from your body when you are coughing or sneezing including during medical procedures and also carrying microorganism. They can travel anywhere anytime.

  1. Airborne

Tiny droplets can hang for long time in the air or pathogens can be in dust. They can be inhaled and the chain of infection will start.

Where They Spread

The explanation above gives you a clue where the infection will spread. Here is the list:

  1. People
  2. Animals
  3. Equipment or Objects
  4. Water (in container, drain or puddles, etc.)

All those places are the perfect environment for the bacteria, viruses or fungus to live. Microbes can make them as the right environment to live, grow and spread. The chain of infection may be in the circle of people, animals, object and water. You can see the diagram where the infections will spread.

What Makes Infections Easily Transmitted

The chain of infection can affect people with low immune system. Low immune system can occur to these following people:

  1. Cancer patients

It is said that either cancer or cancer treatments can weaken your immune system.

  1. Newborns

A research shows that the immune system of a baby will be fully developed at few months. So, they can be infected since they are very little.

  1. Elderly patients

Elderly people also have high risk of the infection as the older people means the weaker immune system.

  1. Surgical patients

Surgery including open wound on the skin also allows pathogens to enter as it becomes a portal. Then, it will weaken the immune system.

  1. Burns patients

Patients with burn injuries also have weak immune system.

  1. Diabetes patients

It is said that diabetes mellitus can weaken the immune system. So, for diabetes patient, they have high risk for the infection.

How to Break Chain of Infection?

Breaking the chain of infection needs a serious effort. Here are some tips to break chain of infection.

Infectious agent

  • good health as well as hygiene
  • prompt treatment especially for those infected
  • preventative treatment especially for those who can be exposed
  • rapid identification


  • hand hygiene
  • disinfection/sterilization
  • environmental sanitation
  • good health and hygiene

Portal of exit

  • appropriate disposal of waste and trash
  • control of secretions and excretions
  • proper attire
  • hand hygiene

Mode of transmission

  • disinfection/sterilization
  • airflow control
  • isolation procedures
  • proper food handling
  • hand hygiene

Portal of entry

  • aseptic technique
  • catheter care
  • wound care
  • hand hygiene

Susceptible host

  • recognizing the high risk clients
  • treatment of the primary disease

Those are some tips to break the chain of infection. You can learn more about how to break the chain. You need to have clean and healthy environment to stop the spread and break the chain as well. The tips above are good to try. Limit the environment where the infection will live and grow.

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