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Musical Instruments a Breeding Ground for Germs: Study
Date:5/13/2011

thors offered the following tips on how to prevent or minimize the transfer and growth of germs on musical instruments:

  • Don't share. Whenever possible, instrumentalists should have their own instruments, mouthpieces and reeds.
  • Clean after every use. If an instrument is shared or obtained from a commercial source, it should be disassembled and then cleaned using alcohol wipes, soap and water, or a commercial disinfectant.
  • Microwave. Cleaning cloths, such as swab pull-throughs and other drying cloths, can be microwaved after use to kill germs before storing them away in instrument cases.

"Although hygienic practices increasingly are being encouraged, in part by the swine flu epidemic and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) outbreaks, our results suggest that cleaning shared wind instruments should also be encouraged, especially in schools," Levy concluded.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides detailed information on how to stop the spread of germs.

-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas

SOURCE: Tufts University, news release, May 12, 2011


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