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Briefings Healthcare Environmental Services
May 28, 2009
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Face Protection Effective in Preventing the Spread of Influenza, Study Suggests
from Science Daily
A new article in the journal Risk Analysis assessed various ways in which aerosol transmission of the flu, a central mode of diffusion which involves breathing droplets in the air, can be reduced. Results show that face protection is a key infection control measure for influenza and can thus affect how people should try to protect themselves from the swine flu. More    E-mail article

Waste Management

How Superbugs Control Their Lethal Weapons
from Infection Control Today
A team of researchers at The University of Western Ontario, led by Joaquin Madrenas of the Robarts Research Institute, has discovered some processes that reduce the lethal effects of toxins from superbugs, allowing humans and microbes to co-evolve. This discovery may lead to novel alternatives to antibiotics that specifically target the toxic effects of these superbugs. The findings are being published in the journal Nature Medicine and are available online today. More    E-mail article

Bacteria With A Built-in Thermometer
from Medical News Today
Researchers at the Helmholtz Centre demonstrate how bacteria measure temperature and thereby control infection. More    E-mail article

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CDC guidance for CRKP
from JAMA
Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) or carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae is quickly emerging as a more virulent and dangerous MDRO, according to a December article in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). In the United States carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae (CRKP) is the most common form of CRE, and infections have led to high rates of morbidity and mortality.

An article published in JAMA on May 20, points out some of the dangers of this new infection, and offers recommendations for treating and mitigating the spread of CRKP.

JAMA notes that recent reports have demonstrated that healthcare facilities can track CRKP through broth-based culture techniques, and also through in-house prepared molecular techniques and a commercial chromogenic agar. The Food and Drug Administration has not yet approved the latter two. In the meantime, the CDC and the Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee (HICPAC) has developed guidance for acute-care facilities. More    E-mail article

MRSA: Potentially Deadly Infection, Once Seen Primarily In Hospitalized Patients, Now Linked To Common Foot Conditions
from Science Daily
More Americans are developing drug-resistant staph infections, known as MRSA, from common, relatively minor foot problems such as cuts, cracks in the skin, athlete’s foot and ingrown toenails, according to the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS). Foot and ankle surgeons are noting an increase in community-associated MRSA, or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. More    E-mail article

Copper Development Association

Environmental Services & Housekeeping Week – September 13-19, 2009
from ASHES
Show support & appreciation for Healthcare Environmental Services & Housekeeping Departments with exclusive gifts from the American Society for Healthcare Environmental Services (ASHES) & celebrate with products featuring the official ASHES theme: "Partners in Infection Prevention". Click here to view and order promotional products. More    E-mail article

Environmental Services (ES) Department of the Year Award
from ASHES
Entries are now being accepted for the second annual Environmental Services (ES) Department of the Year Award. The award recognizes best practices in cleaning the built environment and was jointly created by Health Facilities Management magazine and the American Society for Healthcare Environmental Services (ASHES). Cintas Corp., Cincinnati, is sponsoring the contest.

To enter the Environmental Services Department of the Year Award contest, visit this link to access the online entry form. All submitted data will be kept confidential. The deadline for completed entries is Entries due by June 5, 2009.

The winner of the Environmental Services Department of the Year award will be profiled in Health Facilities Management and recognized at the ASHES Annual Conference, which will be Sept. 20-24 in Reno, Nevada. More    E-mail article

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Bed Bugs Remain Threat to Hospitals
Bed bugs have become enough of a problem that the Environmental Protection Agency held a summit on the health problem last month. The insects typically nest in human bedding and feed on human blood during sleeping hours. Bed bugs are typically found in hotels, shelters, hospitals and college dormitories, according to a report by Jane Akre on Lois Rossi of the EPA is quoted as saying, “The problem seems to be increasing and it could definitely be worse in densely populated areas like cities, although it can be a problem for anyone.”

Although bed bugs are unlikely to spread diseases, they cause rashes and allergic reactions in humans. Without a specific method for eliminating the pests, prevention is the best method for ensuring a facility remains free of bed bugs. However, if you do detect bed bugs, Akre offers the following tips:

• Collect suspected insects in a small container and seek out an expert who can confirm whether bed bugs exist.

• Removal of bed bugs requires a combined regimen of thorough cleaning, vacuuming to remove any eggs and wrapping and sealing mattresses to kill the insects.

New solutions to eliminating bed bugs may be down the road, including using heat, cold temperatures or steam to eliminate the pests.

Related Article: Bedbug Specimen Evaluation, Harvard School of Public Health    E-mail article

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