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Wash Protect



Microorganisms make up the natural environment all around us. Many of these don’t cause us harm, however at times pathogens can be present which may cause illness. If an outbreak occurs, whether viral or bacterial in origin, there is significant potential for a large number of casualties.

Escherichia coli, for example, is a rod-shaped bacterium that can be the cause of many forms of illness from food poisoning to urinary tract infections.

Large outbreaks of E. coli can often make news headlines with potentially serious implications for public health as well as food providers and manufacturers who could suffer from loss in revenue, recalls or even legal action in community health and social care settings.

Another dangerous pathogen from the environment around us is Meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). This type of bacteria is resistant to a number of widely used antibiotics and is therefore more diffcult to treat than other bacterial infections.

MRSA are usually spread through contact with someone who has the bacteria on their skin. However, the bacteria can also be spread through contact with contaminated textiles such as towels, sheets, clothes and dressings, or through hard surfaces such as door handles, floors and bed frames.

Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an ‘opportunistic’ strain of bacteria capable of causing serious infection when our normal defences are weakened. Like MRSA, it has been increasingly recognised for its ability to cause signifcant healthcare-associated outbreaks, particularly since the emergence of multidrug-resistant strains.

Preventing and containing pathogens in the environment, both viral and bacterial, is bene cial for all of us. It can be devastating if an illness is caused as a result of a holiday or a stay in hospital.

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