Scientists have created a series of simulated hospital wards in a bid to learn more about how infections such as E coli are spread.
Researchers at Bradford University hope the facility, which is housed in an underground bunker, will allow them to mimic infection processes in areas where pathogens are prevalent, such as isolation units.
Professor Clive Beggs, head of the Bradford Infection Group, said a“fresh approach” was needed to help prevent the spread of hospitaldiseases.
He said: “Approximately one in 10 patients pick up an infection during a hospital stay.
“While handwashing and other hygiene measures are vital, evidencesuggests that these measures alone are not always enough to preventcertain infections.”
The research group is keen to gain a greater understanding of theimpact humidity has on disease-causing bacteria, which die in dryenvironments.
In particular, they are looking at how humidity control can be usedto prevent the spread of infection via contaminated surfaces and air inhospital wards.
Professor Beggs said that when hospital beds are made, clouds ofbacteria are thrown in the air onto other surfaces which otherwiseappeared clean.
The germs can then be spread by patients, doctors and nurses who have touched the contaminated surfaces.
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