Sunday, November 7, 2010

MRSA More Common in US Than UK

     MRSA (Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus) bacteria is thriving in the United States according to Reuters, reporting on government data. This data shows that Americans are more likely by six times to contract the highly drug resistant bug than in the UK where it was first discovered.
     MRSA caused severe infections in an estimated 95,000 Americans in 2005, and of those infected more than 18,000 died. About 29 out of every 100,000 people contract the MRSA infection in the United States every year compared to 11 in the United Kingdom, according to the Journal of Clinical Infectious Disease. 
     People can carry the MRSA bacteria on their skin or the inside of the nostrils without getting sick. But once the skin is pierced, the bacteria can enter the bloodstream and cause the person to become infected. This has been one reason why three quarters of American people have been more likely to become sick during or after being treated in or admitted to a hospital setting. Americans are twice as likely than Britons to have been on dialysis and they are more commonly to have diabetes or had had a central intravenous line inserted by a health care provider. These facts lead us to believe that both medical care, and the patient type between the two countries are important factors. The CDC in 20007 reported that MRSA infections were 100 times more common in these groups of patients than in the general population.
     Studies have shown that the US has been lagging behind European countries in terms of infection control. The Netherlands for instance, has long been screening people for MRSA before admitting them to hospitals.  If they carry the bug, then they are quarantined so they wont infect others. While some hospitals in the US have implemented such a system, they are far and few between. Still, over the past 10 years, US hospitals have introduced several measures aimed at preventing the spread of infectious diseases such as requiring staff to wash their hands with soap before inserting a catheter into a patient. It is possible that these measures are paying off as the CDC earlier this year reported that hospital MRSA infections have dropped since 2005.*

Last year, when H1N1 and MRSA were prevalent and the country was experiencing a shortage of antibacterial soaps and instant hand sanitizers, we all learned a very valuable lesson. Super bugs are more and more common and the next one is just over the horizon. Everyone panicked and scrambled to get their hands on as much as they could thus creating a dangerous shortage of one of the few things that help stop the spread of the deadly bacteria. The lesson learned here is that we should not wait for a super bug to attack the country before we take action. Proper hand washing is a vital tool in keeping the spread of disease under control. Now is the time to become educated on proper handwashing procedures and keep an ample supply on hand in the event of another epidemic.  It stands to reason that if hospitals, schools and other larger institutions are now equipped with the soaps and sanitizers, we should all follow suit and get setup with dispensers and the products to fill them. We all need to be washing our hands regularly and businesses need to require their employees to wash after using the restrooms and before returning to their work stations. 
     It seems that people only have the thought to wash their hands when there is a concern of catching a nationally reported on disease. But once the media lets go of the story and the threat is no longer front and center on television or newspapers, we relax our hand washing habits and it is then inevitable that the next new super bug strain comes on with a vengeance and spreads like wildfire. If we can keep the public aware of the importance of hand washing, we may be able to prevent the next killer bacteria.
     Sanitizers and antibacterial soaps come in many sizes and dispensing systems. Foam soaps and sanitizers are extremely economical to purchase and last twice as long in the dispenser as regular liquids do.  The liquid is infused with air through the dispenser and makes what looks like a large amount in the palm of your hand.  They are not messy either as they do not leak and drip all over the counter or floor.  Original liquid soaps are also available in different sizes like 8 ounce bottles up to gallons jugs and can be used to fill wall and counter dispensers or left by the sink in disposable bottles. Cartridges are bags of soap that snap into dispensers on the wall and are clean and not only easy to change but also to dispose of. Bar soaps are sold in varying sizes from half ounce and up for apartments and hotels rooms to be thrown away and replaced for next guest to 4 ounce bars for your home.
     Alpha Chemical and Janitorial Supply, Inc. has all types of soaps and dispensers for you to purchase. The dispensers all come with mounting hardware but most simply are applied with included double stick tape.  Please visit our website for more information on the all the soaps and dispensers that we have discussed here today.  If you need further assistance, feel free to contact one of our customer service agents by email or calling 239-594-3515 Monday though Friday 8am-5pm. We look forward to being of assistance to you now and at any time in the future.

*information taken in part from November 3,2010 issue

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