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Bed bug bites in hospitals may make patients more vulnerable to MRSA

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  1. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Mon Nov 8 2010 16:54:29
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    More here.

    Note:
    before anyone panics, MRSA bacteria is NOT known to be spread by bed bugs.

    But Dr. Jody Gangloff-Kaufmann cautions that the bites (which break the skin) make patients more vulnerable to MRSA in the hospital environment.

    Note also: no studies have been done yet. I really hope they will be.

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  2. Richard56

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Mon Nov 8 2010 17:01:53
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    From the article: "The article also cites Dr. Belinda Ostrowsky, director of Montefiore Medical Center’s antimicrobial stewardship program, who said “Theoretically, any breaks in the skin could lead to an infection,” but noted the lack of studies or known cases."
    --------------------------------------------------------
    Thanks for the update NB's. Given the high media profile, not surprising that bed bugs are being linked to MRSA, but I think Dr. Ostrowsky (above) is basically downplaying the whole idea in a diplomatic way. Bed sores, for example -- much more common in hospitals than bed bugs -- also can cause breaks in the skin which in theory could lead to MRSA. The real problem with MRSA seems to be the staph germs in the hospital environment combined with patients who often have a lowered immune system. To put bed bugs into the picture, IMO just clouds the issue.

    Richard

  3. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Mon Nov 8 2010 17:17:56
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    I'm not sure I agree, Richard.

    Hospitals take steps to minimize bed sores and other known risks.

    They should be taking bed bugs more seriously too. (In some cases they are, in others, perhaps more could be done in terms of prevention and detection.)

  4. toledo

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Mon Nov 8 2010 17:30:37
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    I suppose any open wound is subject to MRSA.

    I have to say a word about my hospital stay last week....caused totally by stress, stress from BB and other issues. Anyway, before I layed down on the bed, I pulled up the fitted sheet. There was no encasement on this cheap, 4" thick, plastic mattress. The mattress has at least half a dozen tears along the seems. Bed bugs would have no problem finding a place to hide. It was disgusting. The nurse asked what I was doing. "I'm checking for bed bugs. I have them at my house." I bet they didn't even make note of the fact. I hope I didn't bring any with me, as this hospital doesn't seem to have a clue. An interesting fact shared by son who is in health care. If a patient or hospital worker has been exposed to MRSA, they are required to wear yellow.....a yellow gown or yellow uniform.

  5. BBcoukHome

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Mon Nov 8 2010 17:31:22
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    Although I completely agree with the need to conduct such studies as part of a much wider program to expand our knowledge in the area of medical entomology with respect to bedbug bites and peoples responses to them I am not sure if this case study leaves me feeling all that easy with the world.

    There has never been a better time than now to communicate the potential impact of bedbugs and the need for sound and accurate information and education. It may not be the most dramatic of news items but the facts are becoming alarmingly too clear that awareness and avoidance needs to be at the top of the media and education agenda. This by definition needs to be a clear and simple message.

    With regards MRSA and infection control in general any break in the skin will increase your risk of secondary infections regardless of the source, bedbugs or a scratch. I personally think its more of a story that the problem of infections is resolved through thorough cleaning.

    David Cain
    Bed Bugs Limited

  6. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Nov 9 2010 19:16:53
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    Unfortunately, the Crain's story contains quotations which are inaccurate representations of what Dr. Jody Gangloff-Kaufmann said. I've now corrected the blog post to reflect this.

    I encourage anyone who read the original post to have another look.

  7. Richard56

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Nov 9 2010 19:30:50
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    Thanks for the update, however it sounded to me from the get go that Dr. Kauffman was speculating, and that' why I think that myself and others objected to the way it was covered.

    Richard

  8. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Nov 9 2010 20:58:41
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    Richard56 - 1 hour ago  » 
    Thanks for the update, however it sounded to me from the get go that Dr. Kauffman was speculating, and that' why I think that myself and others objected to the way it was covered.
    Richard

    Hi Richard,

    I understood that Dr. Gangloff-Kaufmann was speculating, which is why the post was entitled, "Bed bug bites in hospitals may make patients more vulnerable to MRSA".

  9. nowayout

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Jun 14 2011 0:28:59
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    Excuse me? Did you just call MRSA a virus? Aren't you supposed to be a scientist? And I believe what was written was that the bugs have staph inside them. Meaning they CARRYING MRSA.

  10. nowayout

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Jun 14 2011 0:32:09
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  11. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Jun 14 2011 0:36:28
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    Nowayout,

    I am not a scientist, but MRSA is a bacteria, rather than a virus. The post you responded to above was an old one from November 2010.

    You may be interested in this post where we covered the more recent story about MRSA being carried by bed bugs. Note that we covered this story on May 11th, the same day the Huffington Post article you link to did, though we went to the original source.

    IMPORTANT: that bed bugs were found to carry MRSA is not the same as saying that bed bugs have transmitted MRSA to humans -- there is no evidence of that happening yet.

  12. nowayout

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Jun 14 2011 0:59:26
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    Oh I'm sorry I think I confused you with someone else, I've been reading too many forums. -_-

  13. nowayout

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Jun 14 2011 1:19:31
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    Also I understand that there is no evidence, but from my personal experience I have been seeing recurrent staph infections in my family. The infections are in the same areas where we have been bitten and there was no history of us getting staph before the outbreak. But like the article states, we live in a lower income building. Here it is especially hard to get rid of infestations because it only takes one person to reinfect the entire building. What’s sad is most people here don't speak English very well and wouldn't recognize signs of infection. I suspect many would ignore their condition until it passed (if they were lucky and healthy) because of the cost of treatment, and many others wouldn't think or be too embarrassed to tell their doctors about the bedbugs if treated. A lot of cases are probably being missed. This wont be taken seriously by anyone until it becomes a problem for the rich.

  14. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Jun 14 2011 1:47:52
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    Hi nowayout,

    I am sorry you're going through that.

    Residents, pest management professionals and management need to work together to get bed bugs out and keep them out. A big part of this process is education.

    Some tenants have had good results from working together to organize their buildings, but it is not easy. In some cases, tenants or management have gotten a local non-profit/social service agency involved to good effect.


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