Infection Control - DHS 4212

State of Illinois
Department of Human Services

Infection Control

at the Andrew McFarland Mental Health Center

McFarland Mental Health Center is committed to controlling the spread of infections. Please utilize this educational brochure to become familiar with ways you can assist with the surveillance, prevention and control of infection.


The #1 way to stop the spread of infection is hand hygiene.

Please wash your hands:

-after going to the restroom

-before touching or eating food

-after coughing, sneezing or blowing nose

-after activities off the unit or on the patio

-when your hands look dirty

In addition to hand hygiene, McFarland encourages bathing/showering every day and it is required a minimum of every 3 days to prevent skin infections and other illnesses.

As a consumer you have the right to ask staff if they have cleaned their hands before they provide any type of treatment or service that involves contact.


McFarland offers the influenza vaccine to our consumers annually and encourages each individual to take advantage of this opportunity. The vaccine is available here from October 1st thru April 30th each year. Common symptoms of the disease are chills, fever, pharyngitis, muscle pains, severe headache, coughing, weakness, and general discomfort.

Tuberculosis (TB)

Tuberculosis (TB) is a potentially serious infectious disease that primarily affects your lungs.  Tuberculosis is spread from person to person through tiny droplets released into the air.  McFarland screens every individual at admission and every staff member annually for exposure to TB. Part of this screening process involves a twostep mantoux test. The standard recommended tuberculin test, known as the Mantoux test, is administered by injecting a 0.1 mL volume containing 5 TU (tuberculin units) PPD into the top layers of skin of the forearm. A discrete, pale elevation of the skin (a wheal) 6 to 10 mm in diameter is produced. This wheal or "bleb" is generally quickly absorbed. "Reading" the skin test means detecting a raised, thickened local area of skin reaction, referred to as induration. Induration is the key item to detect, not redness or bruising.  Skin tests should be read between 48 and 72 hours after the injection. A tuberculin reaction is classified as positive based on the diameter of the induration in conjunction with certain patient specific risk factors. If an individual has a positive reaction their physician would determine if further assessment and/or testing were required.


Antibiotic are generally safe and very helpful in fighting disease but used inappropriately can actually be harmful. Antibiotics can have unwanted side effects including nausea, diarrhea, and stomach pain. Some individuals have allergies to antibiotics that can cause a rash, itching, difficult breathing. Antibiotic resistance can develop when medications are prescribed for viral illnesses or when antibiotics are not taken as instructed.

In general, viral infections are systemic. This means they involve many different parts of the body or more than one body system at the same time; i.e. a runny nose, sinus congestion, cough, body aches etc. They can be local at times as in viral conjunctivitis or "pink eye" and herpes.

The classic symptoms of a bacterial infection are localized Redness, Heat, Swelling and Pain. For example, if a cut occurs and it is infected with bacteria, pain will occur at the site of the infection. Bacterial throat pain is often characterized by more pain on one side of the throat. An ear infection is more likely to be bacterial if the pain occurs in only one ear. An infection that produces pus is not always bacterial.


HIV, human immunodeficiency virus, is the virus that causes AIDS, a debilitating and deadly disease of the human immune system.  HIV is spread by having unprotected sex, sharing needles, and/or contact with blood or body fluids. All consumers are offered HIV testing at admission. It will be added to your routine lab work if you sign consent for the test.

Hepatitis B is a liver disease caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV). It ranges in severity from a mild illness, lasting a few weeks (acute), to a serious long-term (chronic) illness that can lead to liver disease or liver cancer. HBV is contracted by having unprotected sex, and/or sharing needles, razors, toothbrushes.

Hepatitis C is a liver disease caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV). HCV infection sometimes results in an acute illness, but most often becomes a chronic condition that can lead to cirrhosis of the liver and liver cancer. HCV is contracted through blood exchange, sharing needles, and can be passed by having unprotected sex. Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C testing are ordered as indicated per physician assessment and review of admission lab work.


1. Wash Your Hands

2. Don't insist on antibiotics

3. Take medications exactly as prescribed

4. Keep immunizations up to date

5. Follow safe sexual practices. (Please note -- Sexual activity at McFarland is not permitted)

6. Do not go to school/work with symptoms of infections such as vomiting, diarrhea, and/or fever

7. Do not use I.V. drugs (do not share needles)

8. Do not share personal items such as razor blades, toothbrushes, combs, towels, food/drink.

9. Keep food preparation surfaces clean and disinfected.

10. Keep foods at the appropriate temperature.

Please communicate your concerns to your physician, nurse, social worker, or directly to infection control coordinator.

Andrew McFarland Mental Health Center
901 Southwind Road
Springfield, Illinois 62703-5125

Programs, activities and employment opportunities in the Illinois Department of Human Services are open and accessible to any individual or group without regard to age, sex, race, sexual orientation, disability, ethnic origin or religion. The department is an equal opportunity employer and practices affirmative action and reasonable accommodation programs. 

DHS 4212 (R-4-17) McFarland MHC' Infection Control Printed by the Authority of the State of Illinois.  500 copies P.O.#17-1416