By Ken Buben, President, FancyScrubs.com
The bedbugs are back in the news this week as new research emerges on the bedbugs carrying an antibiotic resistant bacteria according to the latest issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases , Christopher F. Lowe, of the University of Toronto in Ontario, Canada and Marc G. Romney, of St. Paul’s Hospital, Providence Health Care in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, say that the previously thought nuisance insects may actually be able to transmit drug-resistant bacteria.
Three of the bed bugs carried MRSA and two carried a less dangerous superbug, vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium. Although there is no evidence the bugs transmitted the bacteria to anyone, the findings show they have the potential to act as “vectors for transmission,” the researchers say.
Bedbugs were first noticed in the United States in the 1700’s. Many believe sail boats returning from Europe were found to be infested with bed bugs. And many of the sailors complained of being attacked by these bugs as they slept in their cabins. In the 1950s with the use of DDT they were almost completely eradicated. The DDT was banned in the 1970s and now we are seeing the emergence of these bedbugs once again as ironically the bedbugs have seemed to grow a resistance to DDT as humans have grown a resistance to antibiotics.
Bedbugs can be found even in the cleanest environment often in bedding and sheets. They tend to bite people in the face, arms and legs the most. They are most active an hour to dawn when they bite and and suck the blood from the wound. The victims notice being itchy and can cause rashes to appear.
Bed bugs could still spread the germ from person to person, especially in close-quartered living situations like homeless shelters; the bacteria can survive on surfaces for hours or even days under the right conditions.
If you think you may have bedbugs wash everything in hot water of at least 120 degrees and call a professional exterminator. Eliminate as much clutter as possible to avoid them returning. Do not go to a relatives or friend house to sleep as you may carry them over there and spread them around more.
To prevent spreading of MRSA potential always wash your hands thoroughly and if you are a healthcare worker, wear protective nursing scrubs that repel fluids and protect against germs from staying on your medical uniforms.