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Standard Precautions apply to all patients, at all times. In general, Expanded Precautions remain in effect for limited periods, i.e., while the risk for transmission of the infectious agent persists or for the duration of the illness (Alphabetical Listing of Organisms and Diseases). For most diseases, this duration reflects known patterns of microbial persistence and shedding associated with the natural history of the infectious process and its treatment.
For some diseases, e.g., pharyngeal or cutaneous diphtheria, Expanded Precautions remain in effect until culture results document eradication of the pathogen. For other diseases, state laws and regulations may dictate the duration of Expanded Precaution use.
See Appendix B for discussion of criteria to discontinue Contact Precautions for patients colonized or infected with MDROs.
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