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Outbreaks of MRSA were once confined to healthcare facilities, but now the bacterium is commonly found in sports facilities, gyms and even NFL locker rooms-a direct result of lax hygiene, disinfection and sanitization methods. In one high-profile NFL case last year, three Tampa Bay Buccaneers contracted MRSA infections.(1) Clearstream, LLC, a diversified provider of environmentally-friendly antimicrobial products and services, says that the serious risks associated with MRSA and other bacterial and viral threats require advanced sanitization technology and hygiene methods. Clearstream utilizes sophisticated antimicrobial technologies and advanced long-term application protocols throughout the U.S. including the professional and collegiate sports marketplaces.
MRSA, when diagnosed early in patients, can often be treated and eradicated in days – but because the bacterium is resistant to most antibiotics, delayed action can result in flu-like symptoms and potentially lead to amputation and even death.(1) Federal data suggests that nearly 23,000 people die annually from MRSA - and several NFL players have contracted MRSA within the last decade: Five NFL players on the Rams were infected in 2003; results of a survey of NFL physicians reported that the league had 33 infections from 2006-2008.(2)
Clearstream CEO Jim Praechtl says these statistics showcase the true risk found in athletic programs across the country – from organized youth leagues to the professional ranks.
"MRSA's resistant nature creates challenging conditions for traditional cleaning protocols, often overburdening their capabilities. Because of this, the introduction of advanced cleaning methods and efficient antimicrobial technologies become requisite for public health," says Praechtl.
Praechtl's statement is echoed by reports that football players are 10 to 15 times more likely to contract MRSA than the general population, with linemen and linebackers being the most susceptible to infection,(2) likely due to the higher percentage of direct contact with other players.
mPact, Clearstream's service division, has provided its services to professional and collegiate athletic teams for years, including the Minnesota Vikings, Detroit Lions, Miami Heat, Washington Redskins and the New Jersey Nets.
To effectively combat MRSA and other bacterial infections, cleaning, sanitizing and disinfection by themselves are not enough. Clearstream COO Tony Daddona maintains that safe, durable barriers must be created through advanced scientific technology. Clearstream offers a breakthrough with the mPact two-step protective solution:
1. mPerial® Detergent/Disinfectant is an EPA-registered, FDA-approved biocide that provides sanitization and disinfection that eliminates a broad spectrum of bacteria, fungi and viruses, and is proven effective against, but not limited to norovirus (Norwalk virus), MRSA, HIV-1, and vancomycin intermediate resistant Staphylococcus aureus (VISA). mPerial, with its grime removing and disinfecting properties is the first step in the mPact protocol.
2. mPale® Antimicrobial with æGIS Microbe Shield® is an EPA-registered surface protection technology which, at its core, is a chemistry that renders offending microbes inactive, while doing so safely for the inhabitants. Its unique design allows the formula to bond with virtually all surfaces. This bonding mechanism is the strongest chemical bond attainable and provides treated surfaces with non-leaching, non-toxic and environmentally-safe long-term protection. By permanently altering the surface to which it is applied – a change imperceptible to human touch – the bound mPale technology imparts a durable barrier against microbial attack. This antimicrobial does not migrate from the surface to disrupt offending microbes in contrast to leaching technologies, which eventually deplete and can often result in the mutation of microorganisms and contribute to "superbugs," as well as reoccurring odors, staining and rot. Additionally, leaching antimicrobials have been found to cross the skin barrier in certain contact situations and enter the bloodstream, making them a greater concern for high-risk groups like athletes.
In comparison, mPale works to reduce the risk of bacterial, viral and fungal cross contamination on treated surfaces without the use of poisons. The treated surfaces remain physically protected for as long as the surface remains intact.
Praechtl added that while MRSA has garnered substantial attention recently, there are other bacterial and viral contaminants impacting the health of Americans, many of which could be controlled by better maintenance of at-risk environments.
Daddona and Praechtl were inspired to establish Clearstream after witnessing the effects of MRSA, which Daddona's friend, Scott, contracted during a routine appendectomy. Scott has endured 54 operations and is forced to wear a plastic wrap-type girdle to keep his organs in place due to an open wound that refuses to heal because of the disease.
"People like him are the impetus for why we do what we do-our main goal is to improve lives and help maintain a society of increased biological safety," says Daddona.
Clearstream offers a wide range of EPA-registered and FDA-approved products and services dedicated to reducing cross-contamination by harmful bacteria and viruses.
Clearstream's mPact Game Plan Protection is designed specifically for use in sports facilities to reduce the risk of many common diseases, including, but not limited to MRSA, Staph and athlete's foot.
Source: Clearstream, LLC:
1."MRSA Infection Growing Concern in NFL Locker Rooms." March 4, 2014. bostonglobe.com/sports/2013/10/26/buccaneers-dealing-with-mrsa-outbreak/2JxLajA7nNdZXec8kKq4kI/story.html.
2."MRSA Bacteria Target Crowded Places with Poor Hygiene." Mar. 4, 2014. usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/12/16/mrsa-emerging-in-schools-prisons-athletic-facilities/4013153/.