Preventing a Superbug

SPORTS ANTIMICROBIAL SYSTEM: The University of South Carolina is applying high-tech, proactive measures to combat the spread of bacterial infections throughout its athletic complex. One is the use of the SportsAide system -- a patented, non-leaching microtechnology that creates a durable, antimicrobial bond on sports surfaces and controls the growth of a wide array of bacteria, mold, fungi and algae. The antimicrobial substance is sprayed onto all surfaces, destroying bacteria on contact.

GENE X-PERT: Scientists at Cepheid have developed a simple new test called the GeneXpert to detect MRSA. The new test received FDA approval in April of last year. The GeneXpert can generate a result in two hours, enabling hospitals to rapidly identify infected carriers of MRSA and take timely control measures. Older tests took up to two days to reveal results. The ultimate goal is to lower the rate of hospital-acquired infections and improve overall patient care. The GeneXpert test simply asks users to place a patient sample in the cartridge and load it into the device. It's like having a complex molecular laboratory in a handheld box that can be used anywhere, any time.

AT HOME PREVENTION: There are several preventive measures that can be taken to stop the spread of MRSA at home. The CDC recommends you:

  • Wash your hands with soap for as long as it takes you to recite the alphabet. When washing hands isn't possible, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Cover all cuts and scrapes with a clean bandage
  • Don't ever touch another person's wounds or bandages
  • Don't share personal items like towels or razors
  • Dry clothes, sheets and towels in a dryer rather than hanging them out to dry
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