Originally published June 16 2015
Detergent wipes are spreading superbugs through hospitals
by J. D. Heyes
(NaturalNews) It's a trend that has swept through hospitals and medical clinics: the use of anti-bacterial wet wipes and alcohol-based cleaning gels that are meant to prevent the spread of disease. However, these items are actually creating ideal conditions for the spread of disease to the extent that "superbugs" that are increasingly difficult to kill are beginning to form at hospitals.
As reported by the BBC News and other news sites, researchers at Cardiff University's School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Science in Cardiff, Wales, said that wet wipes were spreading the superbugs after testing seven detergent wipes commonly used throughout the UK on three common infections.
Their study demonstrated a "huge variability" in the wipes' ability to kill disease-causing bacteria. In every case, the wipes were responsible for spreading superbugs from one surface to another, BBC News added.
Published in the American Journal of Infection Control, the study incorporated a 10-second wiping and cleansing procedure in an effort to test the wipes' effectiveness against MRSA, Clostridium difficile (C. diff) and Acinetobacter, all of which can are capable of creating life-threatening illnesses.
"They were very inconsistent in their ability to remove spores of the bacteria from hospital surfaces, and they all spread significant amounts of bacteria over three consecutive surfaces," BBC News reported.
This is particularly bad when one considers the fact that, according to Britain's Telegraph, all hospitals across the UK have adopted infection control policies that mandate the use of such chemical detergent tissues to clean vacated hospital rooms. The paper added that according to the Cardiff study, bathrooms were at greatest risk -- particularly toilets and sinks -- especially if the same wipe was used to "clean" more than one surface.
Superbugs kill in the U.S. as well"This is the first report on the effectiveness of the most used detergent wipes in hospitals and what we've found is that in all too many cases they are not up to the job - with results showing huge variability," said Professor Jean-Yves Maillard, the study's lead author.
"Our tests show that although the detergent wipes succeed in removing superbugs, they immediately transfer them when the wipe is used on a different surface," he said, adding that both hospital staff and people cleaning their homes should not use the same wipe on more than one surface.
U.S. hospitals also have a superbug problem. In February, NaturalNews reported that antibiotic-resistant bugs were being spread by endoscopes and other medical devices.
Superbug spreads can be mitigated without using traditional [failed] drugs"This ongoing, deadly outbreak, if you will, is being blamed primarily on carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE), a difficult-to-treat infection that's exceptionally virulent due to antibiotic overuse. Eradicating it from healthcare centers and hospitals continues to be a challenge, with patients all across the country contracting it, and some dying from it," we reported, citing a number of deaths related to an outbreak of the bacteria at Virginia Mason Medical Center (VMMC) in Seattle, Washington. At the time of the report, more than a dozen patients had died from the superbug.
In March 2010, we reported on the sheer scope of antibiotic-resistant superbugs, noting that as many as 48,000 people a year died from hard-to-kill infections coupled with poor hospital infection control.
"Researchers with Extending the Cure (a project examining antibiotic resistance based at the Washington, D.C., think-tank Resources for the Future) conducted the largest nationally representative study to date to document the human and economic toll taken by two hospital-acquired infections that should be preventable, sepsis and pneumonia," we reported. "Both conditions are caused by an array of pathogens, including the dangerous superbug dubbed Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), a bacterial infection that has become highly resistant to many antibiotics. The researchers found that these germs are frequently being spread by sloppy infection control in hospitals."
What happens when antibiotics fail? Some hospital administrators and physicians began looking into copper and silver compounds as a way to combat superbugs. "Trials have proven that copper used where doctors, health workers, patients, and visitors commonly touch reduces bacteria up to 97%," we reported in August 2011.
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