Five Deadliest Communicable Diseases and What You Can Do to Stop Them

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As a biohazard cleaning company, Aftermath cares about your health. This is why we’ve adopted February as Biohazard Awareness Month. This week, we’re examining the viruses and bacteria that lurk in body fluids, what we call biohazards, and how these bugs can contribute to serious disease and illnesses. Take a look at the the Five Biggest, Baddest Bugs around, and learn how you can avoid them.


The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and sometimes the lungs. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death.

Most experts believe that flu viruses spread mainly by tiny droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby. Less often, a person might also get flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes. On average, 200,000 Americans are hospitalized each year because of problems with the illness and 3,000 to 49,000 people die each year from flu-related causes.


MRSA or Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus is a type of staph bacteria that is resistant to certain antibiotics called beta-lactams. These antibiotics include methicillin and other more common antibiotics such as oxacillin, penicillin, and amoxicillin. In the community, most MRSA infections are skin infections. More severe or potentially life-threatening MRSA infections occur most frequently among patients in healthcare settings.

Anyone can get MRSA on their body from contact with an infected wound or by sharing personal items, such as towels or razors that have touched infected skin. MRSA infection risk can be increased when a person is in activities or places that involve crowding, skin-to-skin contact, and shared equipment or supplies. People including athletes, daycare and school students, military personnel in barracks, and those who recently received inpatient medical care are at higher risk. There were 80,000 invasive MRSA infections and 11,285 related deaths per year (in 2011).


HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. It is the virus that can lead to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome or AIDS if not treated. Unlike some other viruses, the human body can’t get rid of HIV completely, even with treatment. So once you get HIV, you have it for life. Most commonly, people get or transmit HIV through sexual contact or sharing needles. Over 1 million people are living with HIV and 1 in 7 don’t even know it.

C. Diff

Clostridium difficile (also called C. difficile) are bacteria that can cause swelling and irritation of the large intestine, or colon. This inflammation, known as colitis, can cause diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps. Hospitals, nursing homes, and other healthcare facilities are the most common area of spread because workers are more likely to come into contact with the bacteria, and then with patients or residents. According to the CDC, there are 250,000 C. diff cases per year, 14,000 of which result in death.


Hepatitis refers to an inflammation of the liver cells and damage to the liver. There are different types and causes, but the symptoms can be similar. At least five viruses can cause hepatitis. Hepatitis B and C are the most harmful types of the Hepatitis virus.

Hepatitis B is caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV) and is spread through contact with infected blood, semen, and some other body fluids. In the United States, an estimated 850,000-2.2 million persons have chronic Hepatitis B. Globally, chronic Hepatitis B affects approximately 240 million people and contributes to an estimated 786,000 deaths worldwide each year.

Hepatitis C kills more Americans than any other infectious disease. An estimated 2.7-3.9 million people in the United States have chronic Hepatitis C.  Approximately 75%–85% of people who become infected with Hepatitis C virus develop chronic infection. Hepatitis C mostly results from percutaneous infection, occurring when the hepatitis C virus (HCV) virus gets under the skin. It is usually spread through injected narcotics, needle-stick injuries, and a lack of infection control in healthcare settings. About 3.5 million Americans are currently living with Hepatitis C and roughly half are unaware of their infection.

how you can stop these bad bugs in their tracks

PPE is one of the most effective means to limit your exposure risk and protects you against exposure to all of these diseases. If you come into contact with bio of any kind, remember to wear your PPE!

One of the most difficult aspects of these 5 diseases is the secretive nature of the organisms that cause them. After a biohazardous incident, we may have no way of knowing what sorts of bacteria or viruses are present. Many times individuals themselves are unaware of their infection. This is why Aftermath technicians employ proper and professional safety techniques to not only protect themselves during cleanup, but to ensure that our customers are not exposed to any potentially harmful organisms.

Aftermat is dedicated to helping families recover from all types of biohazard situations, including outbreaks of contagious illness. If you have experienced a biohazard situation in your home or place of business, consider giving the professionals a call. We’ll help you give your home or office a fresh start to a healthier year.

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"Matt was very good at explaining the process. He was very respectful and compassionate and empathetic to my loss. I am very appreciative for your services."

Aileen D. - Tempe, AZ

"I am a District Director of Child Welfare Services and supervise staff who deal daily with delicate customer service issues. I know that it takes a special person who can be both professional yet caring at the same time...your company should be proud to have [employees] who can represent your company so well in these type of sensitive matters."

Nancy R. - Ponca City, OK

"My family recently had a horrible and tragic mom worked with the Aftermath staff and said that not only did they do a great job of cleaning the house, they were incredibly kind, compassionate, thoughtful and understanding in the face of a difficult and painful situation. Thank you for helping our family through this."

Maria Y. - Seattle, WA

"I cannot say enough good things about Aftermath. Two days before Christmas my brother [died, and] I called Aftermath for a clean up. From the very first person I talked to on the phone, who set me up with a coordinator in my area, to the ground crew who did the work, and finally the person who was in charge of the account invoice, every person was respectful, caring and ready to help me in anyway possible. The work that was done was outstanding... and even though the crew knew they would charge by man hours, they worked steadily and were always careful not to do anything against my wishes. The business office made sure my homeowners insurance was kept well informed. I hope no one ever has to experience what our family experienced, but if you do, you can trust Aftermath and all their employees to the best job possible. I cannot thank Aftermath enough."

Jacqulin B. - Springtown, TN

"The Aftermath team provided exceptional service to me through a difficult situation I was not prepared to handle. I was uncomfortable even entering the building in which the event occurred and [Aftermath’s] team sensed my discomfort and put me at ease. They handled both my distress and the clean up process with the utmost professionalism. They are exceedingly experienced in managing all facets of their business which includes timely arrival, description of the process, customer uneasiness, the actual clean-up, and administrative out processing. I'm grateful to Aftermath for helping me through this stressful time and am better prepared to move forward as a result of their efforts."

M.S. - Alexandria, VA

"When we didn't know where to begin the tremendous job before us after a death in the family, Aftermath was there for us. I can hardly express the gratitude we feel...for their unwavering kindness, compassion, support and understanding. They were available whenever we needed them. They worked tirelessly and thoroughly until the job was done. I have, and will continue to recommend this company to anyone with similar needs. Thank you so much!"

Jen - Bushkill, PA

"Your team quickly dispatched and arrived. Were passionate, caring, and kept us informed all through the process, and explained it in detail. Love the crew and business for being there for us. Thank you so much."

Penny R. - Staunton, VA

"Marcello was the first to arrive and was very kind during such a difficult time. He took care of everything with the insurance company and just took care of the whole situation for us. It was such a relief to know we didn't have to worry about anything. Two other ladies arrived later to help with the cleanup. I wish I knew their names. I had to leave but my mom stayed and said that they were great. Everyone worked hard through the night. I saw the house the next morning and I was surprised at what they were able to accomplish. Everything was completely taken care of. It looked like nothing had happened."

Lisa B. - Alpharetta, GA

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