‘Covid cleanliness cuts bacteria in hospitals’, Health News, ET HealthWorld

Ahmedabad: Hospital-acquired infections (HAI) are a major concern, with many patients reporting illnesses caused by microorganisms. But the cleanliness in medical setups prompted by the Covid-19 pandemic has reduced the presence of such pathogens significantly, said a study carried out in the city.

A paper titled ‘Molecular Characterization of Isolated Multidrug-Resistant Bacteria from Tertiary Care Hospitals of Ahmedabad’ was published recently in JPAM. The authors are Anurag Zaveri, Dilip Zaveri, and Lakshmi Bhaskaran. The paper mentioned that between 2017 and 2020, a total of 4,400 samples were collected from hospital surfaces and ambient air to assess the presence of pathogens.

The study said that the presence of klebsiella bacteria was reduced from 80% to 20%, E. coli from 90% to 10%, and pseudomonas from 80% to 20%.

“It is possible only because of the awareness in non-specialists and healthcare workers due to the unforeseen critical situation proving to be a blessing for the future generation,” mentioned the paper.

City-based experts said several factors were responsible for the phenomenon. “First of all, it’s to do with the stringent rules put in place by all the healthcare facilities catering to both Covid and non-Covid patients, as earlier understanding of the virus was that surfaces could be mediums to spread the infection,” said a city-based doctor.

“Second, entry was restricted in the majority of the hospitals, and the medical staff used gloves, face shields, and PPE kits. That reduced the acquired bacteria from the environment and stopped their proliferation in the hospital conditions.”

The paper quoted a figure from the US-based studies mentioning that there were 6.87 lakh cases of HAI in the US in 2015.

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