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Cleaning should target door handles

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CLEANING hand-touch surfaces, rather than focusing on visible dirt, is a feasible short-term strategy for tackling MRSA transmission, researchers have said.

CLEANING hand-touch surfaces, rather than focusing on visible dirt, is a feasible short-term strategy for tackling MRSA transmission, researchers have said.

Stephanie Dancer, a microbiologist at Glasgow’s South General Hospital, said hospital cleaning was accepted as an important factor in the control of pathogens such as Clostridium difficile.

But she said the role of near-patient hand-touch sites – such as door handles, bedrails and switches – was not given the priority it deserved in MRSA control.

Cleaning plans put an emphasis on floors and toilets, yet the evidence for MRSA contamination of a huge variety of items, particularly hand-touch sites, was overwhelming, MS Dancer said in an online article in Lancet Infectious Diseases. ‘The effects of exemplary hand hygiene are eroded if the environment is heavily contaminated by MRSA,’ she said.

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