MRSA EXPOSURE FOR FIREFIGHTERS, MEDICS GREATER THAN FOR GENERAL PUBLIC: UW STUDY February 28, 2016 12:00

Introduction by Ross Dale

According to a study done at the University of Washington, firefighters and medics are at a higher risk for acquiring MRSA than the average person. In a profession that puts you in areas of high exposure to staph in both the community and hospital-acquired strains, the results aren’t too surprising. Marilyn Roberts, the person in charge of the study, “found MRSA in four percent of more than 1,000 samples collected from surfaces inside Snohomish County fire stations, medic and fire trucks, and outer protective gear. But in each of the nine areas sampled, at least one sample tested positive for MRSA, and both hospital- and community-acquired MRSA were found.” The study is only the second to be done on the subject, and attracted the attention of other fire departments concerned about contracting MRSA while on the job. A follow-up study found MRSA in 20 percent of the fire personnel that were tested, and raised the awareness of the issue to the firefighting industry. It’s important to know how much risk an activity puts you for contracting a disease, and how to protect yourself from it, something Matguard makes an effort in helping you with.

Via University of Washington (http://deohs.washington.edu/)

Firefighters and medics may be, perhaps not surprisingly, at a higher risk for carrying methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) than the average person, according to results from a new study conducted by Marilyn Roberts, a University of Washington professor of environmental and occupational health sciences. Roberts, a microbiologist, recently conducted the first-ever environmental health study on MRSA in Northwest fire stations and on fire personnel to determine the extent of related contamination.

In the last ten years, the number of hospital- and community-acquired MRSA infections—those often contracted in schools, public gyms, and in workplaces–has risen. Because MRSA can be transmitted from surfaces to people and from person to person, the increase in incidence has led to concern for first responders, including police, firefighters and emergency medical personnel. Fire personnel interact with both hospital and community populations as part of their job and have the potential to be exposed to MRSA as part of their daily duties…