Welcome to Professional and Technical Services (PTS) – experts in chemical disinfection for infection prevention. Our goal is to educate and provide you the latest resources related to cleaning and disinfection of environmental surfaces, medical devices and hands. As specialists in disinfectant chemistries, microbiology, environmental cleaning and disinfection, facility assessments and policy and procedure creation we are dedicated to helping any person or facility who uses chemical disinfectants.

Our expertise is utilized by Infection Preventionists, Public Health Experts, First Responders, Dentists, Physicians, Nurses, Veterinarians, Aestheticians, Environmental Services professionals and janitorial product distributors to develop more sustainable cleaning and disinfection practices in North America.

Our commitment to providing chemical disinfectant education is more than business, it is a passion.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Be Careful what you Step (or Fall) in!


When it comes to pets, you either love them or hate them. If you love them, many of us can be separated into two camps: cat lovers or dog lovers. I happen to like both, but tend to lean towards cats. I have two. My older male cat may be a grumpy gus, but he loves his belly rubs and he loves to groom me. Not all cats groom “their” people, and frankly with his sandpaper like tongue and penchant for nibbling while he’s grooming, I sometimes wish he didn't love me as much as he does… 
  
The problem with pets is there is the chance for transmission of zoonotic diseases. Case in point is a study that was presented at ASM Microbe at the end of June that investigated 79 cases of pet associated Pasteurella multocida infections with reports of novel modes of non-bite transmission.  Pasteurella multocida is a common cause of infection following bites or scratches caused by dogs, and (especially) cats. If infection occurs, cellulitis at the site of injury is often the first thing that is present, but it can develop into a chronic infection of deep tissues. Of interest (at least to me) is that infectious complications occur in more than 50% of the cat-related bites and that cats of the female persuasion are most often to blame. Dog bites account for 15-20% of the reported infections and are generally associated with younger animals engaging in playful activities, mostly with children. 

In the study, 34 of the 79 cases of infection were not associated with bites or scratches. Of further concern was the fact that these infections were life-threatening. Upon investigation, some of the novel modes of transmission included:

  • Stepping on dog drool and contaminating a foot ulcer
  • Contamination of a wound by socks covered with cat hairs and dander
  • Falling down when drunk and contaminating abrasions with dog saliva
  • Epiglottitis after eating peanut butter and crackers that had been half-eaten by a dog

     As a cat lover, I would like to point out the it would appear that dog owners (or friends of dog owners) seem to lead a far more “adventurous” life or at the very least seem to throw caution to the wind expanding the 5-second rule to include eating not just food that has fallen on the floor, but to food that has been partly eaten by dogs… 

As saliva, dander and cat hair can be picked up from the floors, cleaning and disinfection of floors and other surfaces can help stop the chance of infection transmission. Pasturella is a gram-negative bacteria that is not spore forming, meaning that it is relatively easy to kill with the use of most Health Canada or EPA registered disinfectants.  

Infections, particularly potentially deadly ones are not a laughing matter. Pets are a part of our family.  They would not knowingly make us sick, but the next time you are bitten or scratched while playing with your pet, you may want to consider cleaning it thoroughly and keep an eye on wound to make sure it does not get infected. If like me, you have a cat who loves to groom you, try to keep the grooming to areas of your skin that do not have cuts!

Bugging Off!

Nicole

Friday, June 21, 2019

#FF Don’t be a Summer Simpleton!

Many events this week and next signify the end of another school year. Teachers are counting down the hours, minutes and likely seconds, kids are as excited as Christmas morning and parents are panicking and have probably already counted the number of days until the next school year starts – about 64 days… Summer of course can also mean the beginning of summer school, catching up on reading during vacation or if you’d prefer listening to podcasts or teleclasses, the following may be right up your alley!

As noted in past blogs, the Teleclass Education by Webber Training is an international lecture series on topics related to infection prevention and control. The objective is to bring the best possible education to the widest possible audience with the fewest possible barriers when trying to access it. Here's the list of teleclasses for the third quarter of 2019.


For more information on Webber Training, including a full list of the upcoming Infection Prevention and Control Teleclasses, please visit www.webbertraining.com

I hope many of you will take the opportunity to listen to these teleclasses and share them with your colleagues! After all, learning doesn’t have to end with the school year! 

Bugging Off!

Nicole

Friday, June 14, 2019

Is Nipah Virus our New Nemesis?


I admit that I’m a bit of an outbreak addict. I’m fascinated, particularly when we’re dealing with an emerging pathogen that we still have much to learn about. In March 2015, I wrote a book review for “Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic” which was right up my alley focus on emerging zoonotic disease. I’ll be truthful, I’m not exactly sure if there are more diseases popping up or if we are better at finding them and with society being what it is and sharing via social media we hear about them with increasing frequency.

Last week, India announced that a 23 year old college student has been confirmed to have Nipah Virus (NiV). Now there are at least 300 people under observation, but no additional cases have been identified. Nipah virus infection is an emerging zoonotic disease that has the potential to cause severe disease in both animals and humans with outbreaks having occurred in Malaysia, Singapore, Bangladesh, and eastern India. Outbreaks have been associated with close contact with pigs (intermediate host), eating fruit contaminated with saliva or poop from infected fruit bats (the natural host) and direct person-to-person contact. 

Symptoms of NiV are varied including fever, headaches, myalgia (muscle pain), vomiting and sore throat. As the infection progresses, dizziness, drowsiness, altered consciousness, and neurological signs that indicate acute encephalitis may occur and some people can also experience atypical pneumonia and severe respiratory problems, including acute respiratory distress. The incubation period is believed to range from 4 to 14 days and based on data from reported outbreaks the mortality rates are 40% to 70%.

With many countries importing fruits, there is a risk of international transmission via fruits or fruit products such as raw date palm juice that has been contaminated with urine or saliva from infected fruit bats. Luckily transmission can be prevented by washing the fruit thoroughly or peeling them before eating. If you’ve purchased fruit that looks to have bites taken out of it, the WHO recommends that it is discarded and not consumed.

Does this mean we panic? No. But it does remind us that in the world of viruses, nothing stays still and that we must continue to be vigilant and remind ourselves that with globalization, things are closer than we think and can be whisked around the world in under 15 hours (the time it takes to fly direct from Toronto to Shanghai). We’ll never know when an infected person, or contaminated food or object may be on its way to spread disease to unsuspecting populations!   

Bugging Off!

Nicole