Unless you’ve been living under a rock since 2020, you now know the value and importance of understanding how diseases spread from person to person. With more focus than ever being put on the origins of infection, it’s time that business owners educate themselves on how they can better protect their employees, customers, and themselves.
What Is Epidemiology?
Put simply – Epidemiology is the study of adverse health events as they take place within certain areas and certain populations. Specifically, it is a scientific discipline that focuses on where different diseases come from, how they spread, and how they can be controlled and contained. Of course, such a study has a number of implications for public health, including for groups as large as an entire city population and as small as a single office building.
The Epidemiologic Triangle
The Epidemiologic Triangle is a chart that scientists and other researchers can use to evaluate different diseases and follow their progression. As you might have guessed, the chart has three specific parts outlining how diseases spread. They are:
- The agent
- The host
- The environment
Each disease will demonstrate its own unique interaction between these three different factors. For instance, the agent (typically the pathogen or parasite) is the item causing the infection or pandemic. However, it is subject to a variety of factors that ultimately determine whether becoming exposed to this agent will result in a person becoming ill.
The host is the organism that is being exposed to the agent and is, therefore, susceptible to becoming ill (and going on to make others ill). There are countless factors affecting how this host may react to the agent, including their age, general hygiene, genetics, and overall health. Moreover, different combinations of agents and hosts will produce different results, such as asymptomatic and symptomatic.
The Environment is the last part of the Epidemiologic Triangle. It is basically a term used to refer to any and all outside factors that could affect exposure or susceptibility. Examples include exposure to animals, climate changes, sanitation changes, and more. These factors are very difficult to identify at first and often become more evident as more hosts are studied.
“Breaking” the Triangle
The reason it’s so important to understand the Epidemiologic Triangle is that it only takes the removal of one factor to break the cycle of infection. Common examples of how this is accomplished include:
- Proper hand hygiene (Removes the agent, protects the host)
- Sanitizing high touch areas (Removes the agent, changes the environment)
- Disinfecting lobbies, bathrooms, and other public spaces (removes the agent, changes the environment).
- Wearing masks using hand sanitizer (protects the host).
Business owners can always encourage their employees and customers to take steps to prevent the spread of disease, but what really helps is hiring a full-time cleaning and sanitation crew like Windsor Building Services. As the leading commercial cleaning company in Greater Houston, we provide a wide range of services specifically designed to keep you, your employees, and your clients safe and healthy.
In fact, our cleaning services were developed using best practices and procedures designed by the CDC for the specific purpose of breaking the Epidemiologic Triangle. So if you own a business in Spring, The Woodlands, Conroe, or any other Houston-area suburb, call Windsor Building Services today and invest in a better, healthier workspace.