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NCJ Number: 222269 Find in a Library
Title: Super Bugs: Coming to a Department Near You--It Pays to be Vigilant in the Fight Against Antibiotic-Resistant Super Bugs
Journal: Law Enforcement Technology  Volume:35  Issue:3  Dated:March 2008  Pages:46,48,51
Author(s): Ronnie Garrett
Date Published: March 2008
Page Count: 5
Type: Instructional Material
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article discusses the features of the antibiotic-resistant "super" bacteria of MRSA (methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus), its threat to public-safety personnel, and preventative measures that should be taken.
Abstract: MRSA is a prevalent skin infection with the potential for dire, and possibly fatal, consequences. MRSA penetrates the skin with the potential to make victims progressively sicker, sometimes with bloodstream infections; however, if diagnosed early at the stage of what appears to be a spider bite, treatment is usually effective with antibiotics when the patient has a healthy immune system. Police officers are at particular risk for MRSA infection because of their physical contact in subduing violent suspects. Also, the infectious materials transmitted by individuals processed at booking stations and placed in holding cells or jails may continue to contaminate these facilities for a significant period of time. MRSA is a bacteria that moves very easily from person to surface and from surface to person, and it is robust. Because of MRSA's threat for severe infection and police officer's frequent contact with person's having the infection, authorities must implement more stringent controls by using resistant and easily decontaminated materials and delivering comprehensive training and education programs. Hand-washing is the top protection against MRSA and similar super bugs. One department has developed a hand-washing protocol for officers, which involves the placement of waterless soap dispensers throughout all the agency's facilities. Many patrol officers have begun carrying hand sanitizers within their squads, using them after every contact with the public.
Main Term(s): Police policies and procedures
Index Term(s): Communicable diseases; Occupational safety and health; Police safety; Police safety techniques
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