Hospital room curtains may hide dangerous bacteria

September 23, 2011 2:22:22 PM PDT
Those curtains that provide privacy at the hospital may be hiding something of their own.

According to a new study, the dividers are frequently contaminated with potentially dangerous bacteria.

Healthcare providers often touch these curtains and then proceed to touch the patient. Plus, the curtains often hang for a long time and are difficult to disinfect.

Researchers from the University of Iowa tested 43 privacy curtains and found germs such as staph and the dangerous MRSA "superbug."

To avoid spreading the bacteria, experts recommend hospital and clinic staff routinely wash their hands after coming in contact with the curtains.