Energy-efficient washing machine could be reservoir for pathogens?

September 28, 2019  17:15

The use of the energy-efficient washing machine can pose a threat to human health, Medicalxpress reported

According to German and British scientists, the pathogens, a single clone of Klebsiella oxytoca, were transmitted to newborns in a neonatal intensive care unit at a German children's hospital, the source noted adding that the transmission was stopped only when the washing machine was removed from the hospital.

Scientists became interested in this problem after employees of a hospital in Bonn in Germany asked scientists to explain the reason for the long epidemic that erupted in a medical facility. It turned out that health workers washed their knitted socks, hats and other children's things in eco mode in a regular washing machine, and not in special equipment. Bacteria on them during such washing were not destroyed and continued to spread.

"If elderly people requiring nursing care with open wounds or bladder catheters, or younger people with suppurating injuries or infections live in the household, laundry should be washed at higher temperatures, or with efficient disinfectants, to avoid transmission of dangerous pathogens," said Martin Exner, MD, Chairman and Director of the Institute for Hygiene and Public Health, WHO Collaboration Center, University Hospital/University of Bonn. "This is a growing challenge for hygienists, as the number of people receiving nursing care from family members is constantly increasing."

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