OHS Canada Magazine

Showa Best Glove Offers Recommendations for Protection from Swine Flu and MRSA

April 29, 2009

Health & Safety

What is Swine Flu?

The US Centers for Disease Control and World Health Organization have raised the Pandemic Alert Level to 4 which means that the Swine Flu H1N1 virus has been transmitted from person to person and could cause community outbreaks with the potential for a global pandemic.

What is MRSA?

CDC has said that Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus will cause more deaths than AIDS this year. Staph is a common bacteria that is carried by 25 to 30% of the population and lives on their skin or in their noses. Years of prescribing and overprescribing prescription antibiotics have resulted in mutation of Staph into a virulent form that resists common antibiotics and causes severe sometimes disfiguring skin infections that can spread to other body systems and cause system sometimes fatal infections. Hospital Acquired HA-MRSA has been a problem in hospitals and nursing homes for years. Community Acquired MRSA has now surfaced and is in the headlines every day as whole school systems shut down to disinfect and decontaminate when infections occur.

Who is at Risk?

Swine Flu is predicted to be the most dangerous in healthy young people with strong immune systems. The stronger the immune system the more likely the development of life-threatening pneumonia. Clusters of cases of MRSA outbreaks have been reported in athletes, military recruits, children and certain ethnic groups. Many professional sports teams have had problems with MRSA which has sidelined many players. School systems nationwide have shut down to decontaminate entire facilities when outbreaks have occurred.

What does it look like?

Swine Flu exhibits flu-like symptoms including fever, lethargy and sore throat that may develop into pneumonia. MRSA infections are commonly mistaken for spider bites or a boil or pimple. It spreads and can be disfiguring and require surgery or even amputation to stop. Systemic involvement can result in death. MRSA can penetrate through a scrape, pimple or sore. Most MRSA is spread on hands to different surfaces.

How to Prevent Swine Flu and MRSA Infection?

Proper hand washing is the most important step in preventing transmission and infection by both microorganisms. You should never share personal items such as towels and razors or touch anyones bandages or wounds. Towels and gym clothes should be washed in hot water and dried in hot dryers, not air-dried. Surfaces should be wiped down with alcohol based disinfectants for MRSA and Bleach for Swine Flu. Hand sanitizers that are alcohol based and proven to kill viruses and bacteria should be used to prevent transmission and infection.

Does anything treat Swine Flu and MRSA?

Tamiflu and other pharmaceuticals used to treat influenza have been effective against the Swine Flu, so far with early diagnosis and treatment. Some antibiotics such as Vancomycin are effective for treating MRSA, but common penicillin based antibiotics are not effective. You should contact your doctor if you suspect you have MRSA as soon as possible. Earlier diagnosis is the key to successful treatment.

NFPA 1999 Compliant N-DEX Family of Gloves:

In order to pass the testing for compliance with NFPA 1999 Standard on Protective Clothing for Emergency Medical Operations, N-DEX gloves have to pass the ASTM F 1671, Standard Test Method for Resistance of Materials Used in Protective Clothing to Penetration by Blood-Borne Pathogens Using Phi-X174 Bacteriophage Penetration as a Test System. This is the model viral particle we have utilized for testing in our complete
N-DEX family of products for protection from Blood-Borne Pathogens. This model virus is 27 nanometers in size and is smaller than the 100 nanometer H1N1 Swine Flu virus and is much smaller than the MRSA bacteria.

What does this mean for Showa Best?

Showa Bests entire N-DEX product line is certified as compliant with NFPA 1999 Standard on Protective Clothing for Emergency Medical Operations, 2005 Edition. This certification is now even more valuable since NIOSH and AIHA have endorsed the use of the Viral Penetration data in determination of protection from MRSA and the gloves will also protect from Swine Flu infection of the wearer from skin exposure.

Swine Flu and MRSA Transmission:

N-DEX glove family will protect the wearer from exposure of the hands to Swine Flu and MRSA. However, Swine Flu and MRSA can contaminate the outer surface of the glove and be transmitted to other surfaces. N-DEX gloves can be wiped with hand sanitizers that kill both microorganisms to prevent transmission on the surface of the glove. N-DEX gloves have been proven to provide protection from such Blood-Borne Pathogens and are an integral part of a protection ensemble for contact with pathogenic micro-organisms.


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