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Six Simple Steps to Protect Against and Stop the Spread of Superbugs

WASHINGTON, Nov. 8 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Recent surveys from Centers for Disease Control and the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) have raised awareness of the threat of hospital and community acquired infections including Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). As the public learns more about drug-resistant bacteria, people are searching for simple steps to protect themselves and loved ones against these deadly infections.

APIC recommends six simple steps to help protect against infections and stop the spread of MRSA in health care and community settings.

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Community Settings

1) Practice Proper Hand Hygiene

In both environments, the best prevention is simply washing your hands for at least 15 seconds (sing the happy birthday song twice) and using hand sanitizer containing a minimum of 60% alcohol the right way -- rub until your hands are dry.

2) Be Aware of What You Share

Forget what your mother told you about sharing. Towels, razors, equipment, sports gear and heavily trafficked environments (like gyms, classrooms, etc.) are potential bacteria breeding grounds. Keep wounds covered and clean, avoid touching wounds of others, and shower after sports activities.

3) Spare the Antibiotics

Superbugs are a man-made problem, thanks in large part to the improper use of antibiotics. Don't press your doctor to prescribe unnecessary antibiotics.

Health Care Settings

1) Practice Proper Hand Hygiene

Forget high tech -- when you are in a health care setting, remember to wash your hands after touching surfaces like bed rails and IV poles.

2) Don't be Shy

Demand proper hand hygiene from health care providers -- request they use hand sanitizer before and after treating you. Ask about the hospital's policy and practices regarding Infection Prevention and Control. It's your right; it's everyone's responsibility.

3) Don't Pass it On

Preventing transmission truly takes a village. Proper hand hygiene is not only for hospital staff and patients -- anyone entering a hospital can unintentionally bring in, or take a bug home. Remember to wash your hands before and after visiting loved ones.

APIC's mission is to improve health and patient safety by reducing risks of infection and other adverse outcomes. The Association's more than 11,000 members have primary responsibility for infection prevention and hospital epidemiology around the globe. APIC advances its mission through education, research, collaboration, practice guidance, public policy, and credentialing. Visit APIC online at

SOURCE Association for Professionals in Infection Control andEpidemiology
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