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Fresh alert on killer germs at airport toilets

By Chukwuma Muanya, Assistant Editor
07 November 2016   |   4:02 am
A new study published yesterday in medical journal Clinical Microbiology and Infection has alerted that toilet doors at some airports could be harbouring killer superbug, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).
Murtala Muhammed International Airport

Murtala Muhammed International Airport

Study warns travellers could spread superbug

A new study published yesterday in medical journal Clinical Microbiology and Infection has alerted that toilet doors at some airports could be harbouring killer superbug, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

The study revealed that the superbug could be transferred between tourists on airport toilet door handles and then spread to different destinations across the world and investigated how easily drug-resistant bacteria could hitch a ride with travellers as they jet across the world.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), resistance to first-line drugs to treat infections caused by Staphlylococcus aureus- a common cause of severe infections in health facilities and the community- is widespread. People with MRSA are estimated to be 64 per cent more likely to die than people with a non-resistant form of the infection.

Several studies have shown that without effective antimicrobials for prevention and treatment of infections, medical procedures such as organ transplantation, cancer chemotherapy, diabetes management and major surgery (for example, caesarean sections or hip replacements) become very high risk.

It has also been shown that antimicrobial resistance increases the cost of health care with lengthier stays in hospitals and more intensive care required.

Also, health officials have confirmed 13 cases of a sometimes deadly and often drug-resistant fungal infection, Candida auris, which has been reported in the United States (U.S.) for the first time.

The infection, which often spreads in hospitals and other health care settings, was identified by the U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in June 2016 as an emerging global threat.