In this module we will be looking at the concept of the Chain of Infection. This module will hopefully help you to understand what an infectious disease is and give some examples, look at where the infections comes from, what it needs to thrive, how it could be transmitted again and again,  and what steps can be applied to prevent the growth or spread of such a disease.

Six Links to Infection

There are six “links” or stages as demonstrated on the following diagram of the model. We will look at each one in turn to understand what each link means and how if we can manage to break just one link, the overall chain is broken.

The image below contains a graphic which explains the six links of the infection cycle. Select each of the exclamation icons (!) to learn about each link in the cycle:

First Link: Pathogenic Organism

“Pathogenic organism” is the term used to cover the many infections or infectious diseases that can cause ill health.

The Pathogenic organism can be bacterial such as MRSA (Staphylococcus Aureus), salmonella, E.coli, Lyme Disease or Legionnaires disease. Bacterial infections are usually treated with antibiotics whereas viruses on the other hand are not. Viruses are however more commonly occurring such as colds, flu and the winter vomiting bug, Norovirus.

Types of Pathogenic Organism

Five types of pathogenic organisms are represented below by an image with accompanying text underneath. Learn about each organism by slowly dragging the selector to the right until you have familiarised yourself with this important topic:

Second Link: The Source

Now let’s take a more in-depth look at the second link in the infection cycle: the source. Select the left and right arrows underneath the image to advance through key areas of information contained on each the slides:

Fourth Link: Means or Mode of Transportation

Now let’s take a more in-depth look at the fourth link in the infection cycle: Means or Mode of Transportation. Select the left and right arrows underneath the image to advance through key areas of information contained on each the slides:

Knowledge Test: Module Two