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Infection prevention

Information about infection prevention practices.

Infection prevention and control programs use evidence-based practices to prevent or reduce the risk of transmission of diseases. The Provincial Infectious Diseases Advisory Committee publishes best practice guidance documents about infectious disease identification, prevention, and control to health care settings in Ontario.

Hand hygiene

Hand washing is a simple and effective way to prevent infections. Refer to Public Health Ontario for resources on hand hygiene, including videos and posters.

Routine practices and additional precautions

Routine practices and additional precautions are activities you do to help protect yourself and others from organisms and diseases that can be spread from person to person.

Some of these activities include staying home when sick, covering your mouth if you cough or sneeze, effective hand hygiene, disease detection and surveillance (symptom screening, laboratory testing), und appropriate use of personal protective equipment.

Cleaning, disinfection, and sterilization

Cleaning is the physical removal of soil, dust, and microorganisms by using water, detergents, and mechanical action. Once an object or surface is cleaned, it can be disinfected using an appropriate disinfection by following the manufacturer’s directions for concentration and contact time. Sterilization is the elimination of all disease-producing microorganisms, including spores.

Cleaning, disinfecting, and sterilization are all important to reduce infection in our physical environment. Learn more information about:


Immunization throughout our lives makes our immune system stronger and helps prevent the spread of communicable diseases, such as influenza, diphtheria, measles, and COVID-19.

More information:

Use of antibiotics

Antibiotics should be used wisely, as needed, and as prescribed. Proper use of antibiotics is an important measure to prevent and control the development of antibiotic resistant organisms and Clostridium difficile.

Antibiotic stewardship programs help measure and improve proper use of antimicrobials in health care settings.

Education and training

Public Health Ontario has developed a number of Infection Prevention and Control online learning courses.

These courses cover topics such as:

Infection control leads in health care settings can find out about becoming certified in infection control through the Certification Board of Infection Control and Epidemiology.

For more information, refer to Public Health Ontario infection prevention and control.