Superbugs Simply Float Across Hospital Wards

Infections caused by hospital superbugs are difficult to cure. Superbugs such as MRSAs, NDMs and C-difficile are fast developing resistance to all known antibiotics, sending the global medical fraternity scrambling for newer formulations.Now, a new research underlines why these bugs mainly found in hospital ICUs are deadly: they simply float on air currents and contaminate surfaces far from the beds of infected patients.

In other words, cleaning hospitals beds and surfaces is not enough of a guarantee against superbug infections, said the study done by University of Leeds.Actions such as coughing, sneezing or simply shaking the bedclothes can send these superbugs into flight, and proliferate on freshly cleaned surfaces.

In a controlled experiment, the Leeds researchers used a special technique to disperse the superbugs and found that they had grown on various surfaces across the stimulated set-up. The university’s officials said in a press release, The level of contamination immediately around the patient’s bed was high but you would expect that. Hospitals keep beds clean and disinfect the tables and surfaces next to beds.”But the team captured significant quantities of bacteria right across the room, up to 3.5 metres away and along the route of the airflows in the room.

They are now trying to establish the role of this airborne dispersion in spreading the superbug across the ICU.

In 2010, India was dragged into a medical controversy when renowned medical journal, The Lancet, claimed that a new superbug had emerged from India and called it the New Delhi Metallo Beta Lactamase-1 ( NDM-1). Although the Indian government lodged a protest against the nomenclature, India has also been blamed for allowing superbugs to emerge due to indiscriminate use of antibiotics here. Overusing antibiotics has brought about resistance in various strains of bacteria, allowing for the rise of superbugs.

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