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Nurses' scrubs and hospital bed rails often contaminated with antibiotic-resistant superbugs

Hospital beds

(NaturalNews) A recent U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study found that antibiotic-resistant superbugs are easily transmitted within hospital environments, often via nurses' clothing and patients' bed rails.

The study looked at how superbugs are spread in medical facilities, by tracking the transmission of various types of bacteria, several of which are resistant to many antibiotics.

The researchers looked at 167 intensive care unit (ICU) patients who were treated by 40 nurses in three separate 12-hour shifts.

From CBC News:

"All nurses involved in the U.S. study cared for two or more patients per shift and used new scrubs for each shift. Researchers took cultures twice a day from the nurses' scrubs, patients and the patients' rooms and found 22 (18 per cent) transmissions of the same strain of bacteria.

"Of those transmissions, six (27 per cent) were from patient to nurse, six were from the room to the nurse and 10 (roughly 45 per cent) were from patient to the room."

Researchers found three strains of deadly superbugs being spread in ICUs

Upon testing, the sleeves and pockets of the nurses' scrubs were found to be the most likely areas to be contaminated. The researchers also tested beds, bed rails and supply carts, and found that bed rails were the most likely to test positive for bacterial contamination.

Among the strains of bacteria detected in the study, three of them – methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Pseudomonas aeruginosa – have proven to be resistant to many types of antibiotics and pose a growing threat to humans.

It's important to understand how bacteria are transmitted in hospital environments, especially in light of the emergence of these superbugs.

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, for instance, kills tens of thousands of people each year.

From Natural News:

"In the US alone, there are about 100,000 invasive MRSA infections diagnosed every year, with nearly one fifth (20,000) of those killing the victims. About half of those infections originate in hospitals, mostly due to invasive health care (surgery, dirty instruments, etc)."

Staph bacteria such as MRSA have become resistant to penicillin-based antibiotics, including methicillin, a semi-synthetic antibiotic drug.

What's behind the rise of superbugs?

Much of the emergence of superbugs can be blamed on the over-prescription of antibiotics, which is certainly an area of serious concern, but there are other contributing factors as well.

CAFOs (confined animal feeding operations) are directly responsible for much of the superbug epidemic. CAFOs use massive amounts of antibiotics just to keep animals alive in the overcrowded, filthy conditions of these factory farms.

We eat this antibiotic-tainted meat, and the runoff from these farms dumps antibiotics into our water and soil.

The combined effects of the overuse of antibiotics in medicine and agriculture have rendered antibiotics nearly useless. Very few new antibiotics are on the horizon – there's little money for Big Pharma in developing them – and the ones we have are increasingly ineffective.

The "wonder drug" days are essentially over, it seems, and now we are more vulnerable than ever before to deadly infections that could conceivably sweep the globe, causing death on a nearly unimaginable scale.

The good news is that individuals can do a lot towards protecting themselves from superbug infections. One of the most important rules is to only take antibiotics when absolutely necessary. Don't ask your doctor for them for minor infections, and don't try to use them to fight the flu or colds – antibiotics don't work on viruses.

The other important guideline is to eat only organic, antibiotic-free meat – the meat coming from factory farms is not only loaded with antibiotics, but is generally unhealthy to consume.

Eating fresh, organically-raised food will also help you build your body's own immunity against a variety of diseases and infections.

Remember, much of the transmission of superbugs occurs in hospitals, so if you're maintaining a healthy lifestyle in the first place, you're less likely to end up in an environment where superbugs are running rampant.






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