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I've read different sources, if I remember correctly somewhere between 15% to 25% of people have Staph bacteria naturally appearing on their skin.

So in my reading, this time on the internet, I discovered this - A 2004 Japanese study found that staph bacteria bind strongly to polyester, which is used in many gloves and clothes. And yes, that includes MRSA bacteria, which lurk wherever jocks gather. You grab the weight lifting bar at the gym, grunt a weight, wipe your eyes, nose, or mouth, and the bacteria are in.

Does this mean washing clothes doesn't work? Do we need to add a sanitizer agent, disinfectant, to our wash?
 

· monkey with flamethrower
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People are way way way to worried about germs. Being anal retentive about sanitization isn't going to reduce your chances of being sick in any way shape or form.
Bacteria are everywhere, and fortunately your body is very good at fighting them off, so stop worrying. People who live in the modern world are way to obsessed with germs, and science is showing that living in a germ free environment isn't healthy.
 

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I would'nt sweat it, personally (though I do wash my scrubs seperate from my riding shorts). A good post ride A** scrubbing w/ hot water & soap is always a good idea, obviously. I have heard of people using betadine in the shower...
 

· Cycling Coach
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Rubber Lizard said:
People are way way way to worried about germs. Being anal retentive about sanitization isn't going to reduce your chances of being sick in any way shape or form.
Bacteria are everywhere, and fortunately your body is very good at fighting them off, so stop worrying. People who live in the modern world are way to obsessed with germs, and science is showing that living in a germ free environment isn't healthy.
Perhaps there is an element of truth in what you say, however as someone who has had an MSRA infection, I can assure you it is no fun and yes, it does cling very well to surfaces of all sorts and is very easily transmitted that way. Where there is a risk of transmission, all surfaces previously touched by someone who has or has been near/touched someone with MSRA must be wiped with disinfectant. This is especially the case in hospitals.
 

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As a research Biologist who has studied several of the pathogens you have listed before, I can say that the best things to do to keep yourself safe it to maintain good cleaning practices. Washing your cycling clothes after each ride, and showering after going to the gym are good places to start. Another good idea is to help out when you are at the gym. In college they had bottles of dissinfectant around the gym and after using a piece of equipment, it was considered polite to grab a paper towel and clean off the equipment for the next person. If your gym doesn't already do this, perhaps you could suggest it as a way to reduce the staff's work load. Also there is no substitute for good hand washing.

You don't have to be crazy to aviod infection, just use common sense and be clean. As Rubber Lizard said, these bacteria are everywhere and probably living on you right now, so don't obsess about it, just be aware and stay clean.

Another point I can't stress enough is to aviod using antibacterial hand soaps and other "antibacterial cleaners". Soap itself is an antibacterial agent. The detergents interact with the bacteria's outter membrane causing them to rupture which kills the cells. Now some types of bacteria are more resistant to detergents, which is why many manufactuers add other antibiotic agents to claim the kill 99.9% of germs. But it is the inclusion of these compounds (among a few other causes) that have helped generate really nasty bugs like MRSA and VRSA. I reccomend using traditional soap and warm water, scrubbing your hands for at least 20-30 seconds. If you feel you need additional protection or don't have a sink handy, use an alcohol based hand sanitizer like Purel. Alcohol is a good sterilizing agent and one which bacterial will not likely become resistant to. Plus you can take some with you anywhere.

Ok. sorry rant over... Its not every day I get to talk about my research to the cycling community!
 

· Oh hai there
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Staph is damn near omni-present it will live anywhere.

Better throw out all your potted plants too, because Pseudomonas thrives in moist soil.

(edit) Just like Batman said, use regular bar soap and water for your hands, vinegar with lemon on countertops will kill all the criters living in your sandwich crumbs and chicken drippin's.
 

· I'm workin' on it....
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As a research Biologist who has studied several of the pathogens you have listed before, I can say that the best things to do to keep yourself safe it to maintain good cleaning practices. Washing your cycling clothes after each ride, and showering after going to the gym are good places to start. Another good idea is to help out when you are at the gym. In college they had bottles of dissinfectant around the gym and after using a piece of equipment, it was considered polite to grab a paper towel and clean off the equipment for the next person. If your gym doesn't already do this, perhaps you could suggest it as a way to reduce the staff's work load. Also there is no substitute for good hand washing.

You don't have to be crazy to aviod infection, just use common sense and be clean. As Rubber Lizard said, these bacteria are everywhere and probably living on you right now, so don't obsess about it, just be aware and stay clean.

Another point I can't stress enough is to aviod using antibacterial hand soaps and other "antibacterial cleaners". Soap itself is an antibacterial agent. The detergents interact with the bacteria's outter membrane causing them to rupture which kills the cells. Now some types of bacteria are more resistant to detergents, which is why many manufactuers add other antibiotic agents to claim the kill 99.9% of germs. But it is the inclusion of these compounds (among a few other causes) that have helped generate really nasty bugs like MRSA and VRSA. I reccomend using traditional soap and warm water, scrubbing your hands for at least 20-30 seconds. If you feel you need additional protection or don't have a sink handy, use an alcohol based hand sanitizer like Purel. Alcohol is a good sterilizing agent and one which bacterial will not likely become resistant to. Plus you can take some with you anywhere.
I could not agree more...:thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Botulism is a soil bacteria, as tetanus, and other. So I showed my wife the article and told her I was afraid to work in the garden now. She said if I don't want to work in the garden anymore because I was afraid, I should be more afraid to come home from my next bike ride.

Walking my cocker spaniel last week on a leash and a neighbor asked me not to let the dog walk on her front lawn because her grandson plays on the front lawn and he might catch something from the dog's paws. In this case it wasn't as if the dog pooped or something, just walking.

I ate dirt so many times as a kid and I'm still alive. I still sometimes pick up food that I drop on the floor or the grass and eat it.
 

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batman1425 said:
...... I reccomend using traditional soap and warm water, scrubbing your hands for at least 20-30 seconds. If you feel you need additional protection or don't have a sink handy, use an alcohol based hand sanitizer like Purel. Alcohol is a good sterilizing agent and one which bacterial will not likely become resistant to. Plus you can take some with you anywhere.

Ok. sorry rant over... Its not every day I get to talk about my research to the cycling community!

this is by far the best advice to everyone .. simply scrubbing your hands is the most effective way to get rid of bacteria. I work with many infectious diseases and coupled with the proper protective clothing (lab coat, gloves) and washing my hands i haven't caught anything (staph, pseudo, tb, flu, etc....)

as batman says wash your hands and if your body is healthy (e.g. not immunocomprimised) and you use common sense you won't have to worry about bacteria

joe
 

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Thanks for that. Geez, I can't seem to stop our secretary from buying antibiotic soap for the office kitchen...same lady who goes to get antibiotics when she gets a cold. I don't know if she thinks I'm LYING to her or I'm just stupid.

It's mainly hospitals I worry about. My distant cousin was in the hospital, caught MRSA and died (he was about 65). His 30something son hit his knee on the hospital bed, also got MRSA, recovered, but still has problems w/ his knee. My uncle died from MRSA in the same hospital (although he had brain cancer anyway). I wouldn't set foot in that hospital if I were bleeding from the eyes.

VRSA...is the V Vancomycin?
 

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Litespeedchik: Well you're definatly not stupid, your suggestions to her are good ones. There are two general sources for the multi drug resistant bacteria that are being generated.

The first is the over use of antibiotics. This can be at the consumer level using antibacterial products and at the health care level with doctors who over perscribe antibiotics (which was a big problem in the past, though it has gotten a bit better with more awareness over the last few years).

The second is that many people who do actually need antibiotics to treat an illness, do not finish the antibiotic course they are perscribed and stop taking them when the "feel" better. Some justfity this by saying they will save the rest of them for the next time they get sick which is ridiculuous. Not finishing the course can select for antibiotic resistant members of the illness causing bacteria population and allow them to proliferate. This is obviously a very bad thing.

Nosocomial infections are very common. However, most hospitals now use cleaners that bacteria cannot gain resistance to which are bleach or alcohol based which can help greatly.

Community aquired MRSA cases are also becoming more prevalent. I recall reading an article in the NY Times a few months back about some sports teams at UVA or V Tech (can't remember which) that were coming down with MRSA. It spawned a few experiements on campus and one of the bio professors was able to isolate MRSA off a significant percentage of the communal computer keyboards on campus... Kinda scary...

Litespeedchik you are right, the V in VRSA is vancomycin. Vanco is pretty much the last line of defense available against infections. It is very stricly regulated in perscription and crazy expensive. Typically bugs that are vanco resistant are also resistant to most other drugs, so VRSA is especially dangerous.

All good reasons why it's imporant to have good hygenic practices and don't buy antibacterial soaps!
 

· Resident Curmudgeon
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Forrest Root said:
After every ride, I go over my body, in the shower, with a wire brush, and then I wash with 5 molar hydroflouric acid.
Heeyyyy! Will that take care of any BPA contamination too? :confused:
 

· Resident Curmudgeon
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Forrest Root said:
Only partially. For complete BPA elimination you have to take the high, fast one from 1 gallon of warm, soapy water thru the door which is marked "exit only."
:eek: :eek: :eek: :eek:
 
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