Bioscience

TV remotes a flu season threat

September 27, 2009

By Flinn Foundation

[Source: Canada.com] – The dirtiest surface in a hospital room is the TV remote control, says a University of Arizona study that identifies a threat for flu season.

The study of 17 patients’ rooms in Tucson found that TV remotes had more bacteria than flushers on toilets, probably because toilets were cleaned regularly and remote controls were not. Remotes were also dirtier than doorknobs, faucet handles, handrails and call buttons patients use to buzz the nursing stations. All of those carried some bacteria, too.

Worse, the TV remotes were the only surfaces in the room carrying MRSA (methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus), a “superbug” that resists treatment with antibiotics. MRSA is a constant threat in hospitals and infections from it are sometimes fatal.

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