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Low levels of resistant bacteria found in Chicago-area ambulances

Treatment areas of ambulances fared well when tested for dangerous bacteria, according to a new study published in the April issue of the American Journal of Infection Control, the official publication of APIC - the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology. Approximately six percent of sites sampled in Chicago-area ambulances tested positive for Staphyloccocus aureus (S. aureus), a bacterium that can cause serious infections and can easily acquire resistance to potent antibiotics.

The authors state, “Of interest, only 5 of 71 ambulances tested positive for MRSA in at least one location (yielding the 12 MRSA isolates studied). Although there have been few previous studies of front-line advanced life support ambulances, a higher frequency of suspected MRSA in ambulance fleets has been reported previously.”

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