Beware That Hospital Therapy-Dogs-Spread-MRSA and Other Superbugs

Many hospitals use therapy dogs to cheer patients and improve patient morale.  But these dogs bring more than good cheer. They also spread dangerous germs. Keep that in mind if a well-intentioned volunteer shows up at bedside with a cute canine.

A newly released study at Johns Hopkins shows that therapy dogs visiting children being treated for cancer caused  10% of the children to pick up MRSA – methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Yikes, the last thing an already compromised patient needs. The more closely patients hugged and petted thedogs, the higher the risk.

Washing the dogs with chlorhexidine reduced the risk somewhat.

Source: Study presented October 5, 2018 at a joint meeting of the Infectious Diseases Society  of America, the Society of Healthcare Epidemiology of America, the HIV Medicine Association  and the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society.

For more information see this report from Infection Control Today