MRSA possibly spreading at fire stations: study

Washington – Transmission of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infections may be occurring in fire stations, indicates research from the University of Washington School of Public Health in Seattle.

Researchers sampled nine different areas in two fire stations, conducted an education program and installed hand sanitizers, and then assessed each area again seven to nine months later. During the second analysis, they also took nasal samples from personnel at 13 stations, according to a press release from the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, which published the research.

Both samplings detected MRSA in all nine areas, with 4.3 percent of surface samples testing positive in the first assessment and 3.9 in the second. The most common locations for the bacteria were medic trucks, kitchens, and computer keyboards and desks.

Thirty percent of nasal samples tested positive for MRSA or S. aureus, and the majority of those were genetically related to environmental surfaces, suggesting the bacteria may have been transmitted between personnel and surfaces.

The study appeared in the June issue of the American Journal of Infection Control.

Post a comment to this article

Safety+Health welcomes comments that promote respectful dialogue. Please stay on topic. Comments that contain personal attacks, profanity or abusive language – or those aggressively promoting products or services – will be removed. We reserve the right to determine which comments violate our comment policy. (Anonymous comments are welcome; merely skip the “name” field in the comment box. An email address is required but will not be included with your comment.)