Appendix reviewed and updated in December 2017. A description of changes can be found at Updates to the Communicable Disease Control Manual.

Disinfection and cleaning the environment

Diseases that are notifiable have public health implications. Therefore decontamination of the environment is recommended when cross-infection from the source is possible. Disinfection is also indicated for contamination with y-resistant bacteria.

Concurrent disinfection is the application of disinfection measures as soon as possible after the discharge of infectious material from the body of an infected person, or after articles have been soiled with such infectious discharges.

Personal protective equipment (PPE) must be used during environmental disinfection to prevent self-contamination.


Disposable items: Any items that can be disposed of should be categorised as in NZS 4304:2002 New Zealand Waste Standard and disposed of.

Solid surfaces and/or equipment (including children’s toys): Before disinfection, solid surfaces and/or equipment should be cleaned with detergent and dried. Before disinfection chemicals are applied, it should be established that they are fit for purpose a clear process on how to use them and manufacturer’s recommendations are followed.

References and further information