Here’s a disturbing paper: “Can methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus be found in an ambulance fleet?” The answer? Yes. From the abstract:
OBJECTIVE: To perform an initial screening study of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) contamination in an ambulance fleet. METHODS: This was a cross-sectional study of MRSA contamination in an ambulance fleet operating in the western United States in June 2006. Five specific areas within each of 21 ambulances (n = 105) were tested for MRSA contamination using dacron swabs moistened with a 0.85% sterile saline solution. These samples were then plated onto a screening media of mannitol salt agar containing 6.5% NaCl and 4 mcg/mL oxacillin. RESULTS: Thirteen samples isolated from 10 of the 21 ambulances (47.6%) in the sample group tested positive for MRSA. CONCLUSIONS: The results of this preliminary study suggest that ambulances operating in the emergency medical services (EMS) system may have a significant degree of MRSA contamination and may represent an important reservoir in the transmission of potentially serious infections to patients.
There was no information if these were community-acquired or hospital-acquired MRSA, but either way, we need to try to make ambulances more MRSA-free.
What kills MRSA?
Well, really, what — that most everyone has easy access to, at household strength — will do the job? Hydrogen peroxide? Vinegar? Ammonia? Chlorine bleach?
What about greaseless soap, such as Ivory?
When cleaning the home environment to prevent, or control the spread of a MRSA infection, you need to use a product that states on the label that it kills Methicillin-Resistant Staph aureus (MRSA). If it does not state this, then there is no assurance that the product will destroy the bacteria. Products that you would think kill MRSA, but does not state that on the label, i.e. chlorox wipes, is not the best product to use. These products typically kill staph aureus, but not the MRSA bacteria.
Listed below are samplings of some products that meet the criteria for destroying the MRSA bacteria. Read all labels of cleaning supplies to determine other cleaning agents.
> Mr. Clean Antibacterial Multi-Surface spray states it kills MRSA.
> A bleach:water solution of 1:10 (3/4 cup bleach in 1 gallon of water) kills MRSA and is effective for bathrooms and locker rooms, * but this bleach solution only remains effective for 24 hours after mixing , so should be discarded at the end of the day . The solution can be put in a spray bottle and the area sprayed with the solution and allowed to dry to kill MRSA.
> A bleach:water solution of 1:100 (1 Tablespoon bleach in 1 quart of water) can be used effectively to clean areas less likely to be as contaminated (kitchens) *as above.
> Hand soaps are effective in washing off the germs when used correctly. The important thing to remember is to wash your hands vigorously with warm soapy water for at least 60 seconds.
> Sani-Cloth Plus Hard Surface Disinfectant, Super Sani-Cloth Germicidal Disposable Cloths, Sani-Cloth HB, Sani-Dex ALC, and Vionex wipes kill MRSA.
> Hibiclens soap kills MRSA.
MRSA is Staphylococcus, and MRSA isn’t more resistant to disinfectants than normal staph. You should not use ‘bactericidal’ cleaners outside of clinical settings unless instructed by a doctor.
Most people don’t have to worry about MRSA–less than one percent carry it. Unless you know you have MRSA, soap and water or bleach (for surfaces) works fine, and doesn’t select drug resistant organisms.
MRSA is Staphylococcus, and MRSA isn’t more resistant to disinfectants than normal staph. You should not use ‘bactericidal’ cleaners outside of clinical settings unless instructed by a doctor