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Health Officials Discover New Technology to Kill Superbug MRSA

The recent surge in Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) cases have thrust the infection into the spotlight. Most commonly traced to health care environments (HA-MRSA), the new community acquired (CA-MRSA) strains are now being found in schools, universities and athletic settings.Hospitals concerned about the growing incidence of “superbugs” such as MRSA are turning to a new technology that converts alcohol into a nonflammable vapor, making it possible to sanitize surfaces that cannot be quickly sanitized by other methods.

This new system utilizes liquid carbon dioxide as a propellant to spray a fine alcohol mist. Using this process, oxygen is temporarily displaced by an envelope of rapidly expanding CO2 gas, rendering the vapor nonflammable. The technology, known as NAV-CO2, has recently stepped into the spotlight following the diagnosis of MRSA in previously healthy teens and young adults. CA-MRSA is becoming more prevalent in school, university and athletics environments.

“What makes NAV-CO2 technology unique is that it is non-corrosive, self-drying, and safe on almost all materials” says Robert Cook, of Biomist Inc., a company based in Park Ridge, Illinois. “The ease of use allows one person to effectively sanitize over 4000 square feet in under two hours. The vapor penetrates into cracks and crevices where pathogens hide, and disinfects areas beyond physical reach. For example, you can sanitize between the keys on a laptop and kill pathogens without corrosion. This is not possible with a spray bottle of bleach and a rag.”

“Veterans Administration hospitals are leading the way in U.S. MRSA prevention” says Charles Carman, a management consultant working with hospitals on infection prevention. “The difference is the leadership. VA Hospitals have made combating MRSA a priority, and have made investments in NAV-CO2 systems. Ultimately, VA Hospitals will recover the investment many times over in labor savings and achieve a hygienic environment for patients, visitors and staff.”

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