Schools, gyms, hospitals, locker rooms, day care facilities, firehouses, the average home.
Just a few of the places superbugs like MRSA (methicillin-resistant staphylycocous aureus) has been found lurking in significant quantities. What's the big deal with MRSA? Perhaps you've heard of something called a STAPH infection. Well, MRSA is an antibiotic-resistant STAPH bug, which can lead to an antibiotic-resistant STAPH infection. Many of these are life-threatening.
Besides MRSA there are many other superbugs. Take the contagious, antibiotic-resistant CRE for example. A recent study published in the medical journal, Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, revealed that cases of CRE increased five-fold in community hospitals from 2008 to 2012 in the Southeastern U.S. And often times, hospitals aren't required to report infection-related deaths. However, the last CDC Study revealed that 18,000 people in the US were killed by infections in 2005. Today, that number is probably much higher.
Superbugs truly are a silent killer. Not just because they're on a microscopic scale and thus it's easy to pick up an infection, but because a large number of people in the world don't know they exist. If you asked a random person on the street, they probably have never heard of it. But they probably saw what Iggy Azalea last tweeted.
And that is part of the problem. The less that people know about it, the less pressure there is on leading figures to lay down an action plan to address it. It also means that people aren't taking steps to protect themselves against this unknown danger. Washing hands can sure lower your risk, but hand soap isn't going to do much against antibiotic-resistant superbugs.
However, there are proven killers of these superbugs and other serious viruses. The same journal that published the report mentioned above, Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, confirmed in a separate study that ozone is an effective killer of MRSA, as well as a host of other fungi, viruses, and bacterium. In hotels, schools, daycares, and hospitals, ozone can be used to disinfect entire rooms. Athletes can use ozone to disinfect their hockey, football, lacrosse, and motocross gear. And firefighters can disinfect their bunker gear, or police can disinfect Kevlar vests and tactical suits.
Police officers have a pretty tough gig. They face all kinds of unpredictable situations every single day on the job. That includes your antics, you lil' multi-tasker, you.
And police officers really are to be commended for their hard work. They perform many good deeds every day while serving the community; deeds we rarely get to witness. But sometimes we are able to catch them in the lovable act on camera, so that we can Tweet about it and YouTube and MySpace it or whatever the kids do these days. Below are just a few for your enjoyment.
5. Canadian Cop Comes Across Campers Rocking Out In The Woods, Joins Them
Some people go camping to enjoy the fresh air, see the natural beauty of this world we rarely get to see, maybe roast a couple marshmallows over a crackling fire. Others go camping to let loose, and rock out half-naked to Pink Floydd.
When Const. Doug Sokoloski from Pincher Creek, Alberta was doing just another routine patrol, he came across a group of campers jamming out on their guitars and drums in the woods, because hippies. So, without a moments hesitation, Doug read them their rights and slapped on the cuffs.
Not really. Because you see, like most other cops out there, Doug is just your average human being. And as it turns out, Doug used to play in a band. So instead of chastising them for disturbing the beavers or something silly, Doug hopped on the drums and jammed out with them.
The video went viral, and he got another chance to jam with his fellow officers on a float at a community parade, much to the crowd's enjoyment. He used the opportunity to tell people that there really are good deeds like this that go unnoticed every day. Thanks for being awesome, Doug!
4. NYPD Cop Buys New Boots For Homeless Man
In case you didn't know, New York City gets real cold in the winter. Not Manitoba cold, but ya know, it's up there. An Arizona policewoman by the name of Jennifer Foster was visiting NYC when she saw a homeless man with no shoes. His tootsies were soon going to board a one-way train to magical Frostbiteville, population 10. But then, this happened:
“Right when I was about to approach, one of your officers came up behind him. The officer said, ‘I have these size 12 boots for you, they are all-weather. Let’s put them on and take care of you.’ The officer squatted down on the ground and proceeded to put socks and the new boots on this man. The officer expected NOTHING in return and did not know I was watching. I have been in law enforcement for 17 years. I was never so impressed in my life. I did not get the officer’s name."
For all you flip-flop wearing people down South, all-weather boots ain't cheap. He probably just dropped $100 of his own cash, anonymously. And we wouldn't have even known about it had there not been an admirer taking a picture. One thing is for sure, those boots will need a good ozone treatment soon.
3. Officer Pushes Man in Wheelchair Home
The picture above was snapped by a passing college student and quickly went viral. First Precinct Officer Jordan Clark of the RPD in Richmond, Virgina responded to a call about a man in a wheelchair stuck on the street. When Officer Clark arrived on scene, he found that the battery in the man's chair had died. The man said he had no friends or family that could help him... So Clark said, "Cool, see ya!"
Actually, Clark proceeded to push the man 3 blocks through the cold to the nearest bus stop. But he didn't stop there! He then followed the bus to the man's stop near his house, then pushed him another 2 blocks to his home. Officer Clark earned high praise, receiving the elusive Officer Of The Month Award, and having his job title changed to "Flippin' Coolest Cop Everz". (citation needed)
2. Cops Save Deer From Highway, Walk Him To Safety
Raise your hand if you've ever walked a deer like a dog. If you just raised your hand, then a) You look silly sitting at your computer with your hand in the air and b) you are a filthy liar.
Not all of us have had the satisfaction of saving wildlife from the jaws of death, and many certainly have not experienced the privilege of walking a majestic deer like a puppy. Sgt. Steven Sandusky has done both of these things.
It began when Officer Jason Rains came across a frightened deer caught on a highway near Kansas City. In the amazing dashcam video below, we can see the panicked doe repeatedly ramming itself into the barrier. Little does she know that it's a 100-ft drop into a river below. Soon Sgt. Sandusky arrived, and the two officers jumped into action.
As they approached, they realized her leg had become caught in a drain. So after they freed her, Sgt. Sandusky decided to just walk her to safety like a dog, and the grateful doe followed him off the bridge until they reached a wooded area, where she bounded away to reunite with all her forest buddies. This one kind act pretty much makes up for all the times we hit deer with our cars.
1. Officer's Good Deed Towards Boy Is His Last
I saved the saddest one for last, because I didn't want you blubbering your way through the whole article. In San Diego, California in August 2011, Officer Jeremy Henwood was ordering his food at McDonald's when 13 year-old Davian Tinsley asked him for a dime so he'd have enough for some cookies. Officer Henwood bought the cookies for him.
As they talked, Davian said he wanted to play in the NBA. Henwood replied that it takes "hard work." They took their food, walked outside, and waved goodbye.
But this world soon demonstrated its hatred for heartwarming moments. Just mere minutes after this, Officer Henwood drove off and stopped at a red light, where he was then gunned down in an unprovoked attack. Davian saw the dozens of police cars that arrived down the street, but he didn't know until the next day what happened. Even though this moment was short, Davian says he has a role model for life now, and that "if he says I gotta work hard, I'm gonna work hard."
So there you have it. We applaud you, Boys In Blue! They are pulling off stuff like this every day, the majority we don't even see. So the next time you get pulled over while trading stocks and talking on the phone and watching Netflix at the same time, give that cop a high-five and tell him you love him.
For the majority of us average human beings here on earth, work is something we have to do. It pays the bills, and it puts food on the table. Not many people have a job that they love, so once our shift is over, we rush home to take care of important things. Like eating Doritos and watching Duck Dynasty for 4 hours. We barely get through the 9-5, so when it comes to working overtime, our boss better not even think about asking. It's just not gonna happen.
"Sure boss, I can come in at Never o'clock. Does Never o'clock sound good to you?"
But when it comes to being a firefighter, there is no 9-5. It is a 24/7 death-dodging profession. And while most of us would try to pepper spray Overtime in the face if we could, firefighters jump into beast mode even when they're off the clock. There are countless acts of heroism performed by firefighters every day around the world, so naturally we can't showcase them all.
But below are just a few...
3. Robert Puttick Gets Electrocuted, Simply Doesn't Care
Imagine you have just smashed your vehicle into a pole on the side of a county road. You try to get out, but every time you touch the car's frame, you are shocked. That's because the hydro lines from the pole you decided to chop down with your crossover are now laying underneath your car, sending electricity coursing through the vehicle. This was the scene in Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada in August 2010.
But then help arrived by the form of off-duty firefighter Robert Puttick.
Otherwise known as Captain Awesome.
Robert sprang into action right away. Wearing just his casual clothes, he ran to the car, grabbed the driver's door... and was instantly shocked by about 115,000 volts. He hadn't noticed the wires underneath, and the lady inside was apparently to busy to inform him. But Robert didn't volunteer for 10 years just to let a little electric tickle stop him. He ran to the passenger side, where the door had swung open after the crash, had the driver kneel on the seat, and scooped her up and ran from the car... seconds before it burst into flames.
The woman sustained no injuries, and Robert Puttick went home a hero, with the satisfaction of knowing he no longer needs to fear lightning storms.
2. Firefighters Save Guy From Fire... 3 Times
Daniel DiRobbio of Warwick, Rhode Island, USA decided to go for a nice off-duty drive one night in January 2010.
"Yeppers, just going for a nice off-duty drive. No duties to worry about tonight. I would, if I was on-duty.
But I'm not. I'm off-duty. Zero duties to worry about."
But life for a firefighter just isn't that relaxing. As he was driving he saw heavy smoke pouring out of a two-floor house. He phoned in the fire (after jumping out of his moving vehicle, probably), and began banging on the door, waking up the two residents and their children, and getting them out safe and sound. The end! Not. As the other firefighters arrived, Daniel turned around and realized the father had run back inside to try to put out the fire himself. Because what do firefighters know about fighting fires.
So they marched up there and dragged him back outside to safety. The end! Oh if only. As they tried to do their job of putting out the dang fire, the man ran inside the house again! They then muttered something like "Strike three", left the property, and went back to the station to watch Backdraft on loop. No, because they're good people, the firefighters grabbed him yet again, and brought him out of the burning building. Hopefully, they followed this up by giving him a thorough rinse with their fire hoses.
Like this, but with more lesson-teaching velocity.
So please, if you are ever in a burning building and firefighters decide to save you and your family in their spare time, just do them a favour and stay saved.
1. Michael Marino Dives Into Flooded Tunnel
Lauren Ostberg, via The Somerville Times
In July 2010, the greater Boston area was hit by flash floods, including nearby Somerville. Christine Broderick was in the Fellsway Tunnel at the time, and had nowhere to go as the waters picked up her car and spun it in circles. The tunnel filled up with 18 feet of water and went pitch black as she managed to climb onto the roof of her car. Being unable to swim, she began screaming for help. And that's when off-duty firefighter Michael Marino "dove" into action.
"Ohh, I see what you did there, James!"
See, while most of us in this scenario might just point at the tunnel and cry, hoping the situation would just resolve itself, Michael is better than us. Michael Marino, a former US Navy rescue diver, jumped in without hesitation. He swam into the dark tunnel with a life-ring, located Christine, and pulled her to safety, strictly because he is the coolest cat around.
It's possible that the tunnel wasn't dark, but that she just had her eyes closed the entire time.
So thank you, Heroes Of Overtime! Thank you for working around the clock to save our butts whenever we get ourselves into crazy situations.
Excuses can be a beautiful thing. When used in the right way, they can get us out of all sorts of trouble, like doing our chores, or getting us out of jury duty. And they are a real wingman when it comes to the sweet, sweet practice of procrastination.
"I would love to feed the dog... but this Ferrari isn't gonna drive itself."
However, sometimes we take advantage of our friend, The Excuse, and we use him in vile ways. Like for instance, if you play hockey, you know that your gear can really start to reak after just a few games. And over the course of a few years --maybe even a couple decades of no treatment -- it transitions to smelling like the shorts of Andre the Giant after he's gone for a jog through the Mojave desert.
Perhaps there are a few excuses you've used to defend your stance of preserving the unholy state of your hockey gear. I'm here to tell you your excuses are bad. Below are just a few...
4. It's Part Of the Game
This is probably the one excuse that is used most often. At first it's annoying to hear, but then you think about it and you can see where the person is coming from. For decades, Eau de Chat Urine has been the signature scent of hockey gear.
"You have my bladder to thank for your success."
You just got used to smelling it over and over, every time you walked into a dressing room. But that's only because there hasn't been a proper way to clean gear. Now the technology and methods exist to properly disinfect your gear, so there really is no reason to say it's part of the game.
That's like saying the smell of mold and mildew in your house is just part of living in a house. No, it's not. If you walked into your house and recieved a huge dose of moldy breeze to the nostrils, you would be speed-dialing the army to come over PRONTO to wipe it out before you'd even hit the floor. It's the result of water damage in your house, and you know it needs to be killed, otherwise it can cause severe damage to your health. Playing with gear that is moldy and full of bacteria is no different! It's dangerous to your health, and needs to be treated.
"Oh well," you say, "I'll just tough it out. Because..."
3. It's Part Of Being a Man
"It's called being a man! It's a manly scent!" This is one excuse that we've heard before and perhaps you've used it to. This is what you look like when you say that:
"It's a manly scent! I'm a man!"
What our friend Bozo up there is saying is that only men sweat and stink when they exert themselves. Isn't that a little silly, considering just how many women hockey players there are? I have a lot of women friends who play hockey, and they can tell you first hand, their dressing rooms smell just as nasty as the men's. Saying it's a man's smell is just as silly as saying it's a man's game.
She's laughing at you.
We don't live in the early 20th century anymore. Hockey is a sport played by men and women, so to call the smell manly is just untrue. And this is coming from me, a fellow man, just like Bozo. So fine, it's a smell shared by the citizens of Mars and Venus. But come on, the smell is harmless... right?
2. It's Harmless... Right?
Let's have an experiment: Why don't you go ask your wife to sniff your hockey gear, and then tell her to her face it's harmless.
Now enjoy your new accommodations.
As I'm sure your wife can attest to from her experience of every time she steps into the garage, your gear smells like a dead skunk stuffed with rotten garlic and denial. And there's a simple reason for that: it's filled with mold, mildew, and bacteria. Imagine going years wearing the same clothes over and over, and never washing them once. "Eww!" you say. "Don't say gross things like that." Well wearing your hockey gear for years on end without treating it is like doing the exact same thing. Over time, your hockey gear has become a luxury condominium for all kinds of microscopic nasties, including antibiotic-resistant superbugs. Like these guys:
Those microscopic death-grapes pictured above are known as MRSA, which stands for Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus. These fuzzy guys are resistant to many antibiotics and have all sorts of fun symptoms, such as spider bite-like bumps that can lead to deep pus-filled boils; toxic shock syndrome, which includes confusion, stupor, falling into a coma, and massive organ failure; and even necrotizing pneumonia. In other words, it eats your flesh.
"Om nom nom."
On top of that, MRSA can spread so rapidly, that within a few days the infected host can be killed. Or if the person is lucky, they can stop the infection -- by amputating the infected limb. And these kinds of infections aren't rare among athletes. In recent years, top athletes in the NHL such as Joe Thornton and Chris Higgins were diagnosed with MRSA infections. The NFL has faced several lawsuits from players who were infected with MRSA as well. They were fortunate enough to be able to treat these strains of MRSA, but other superbugs won't be as friendly.
"But it's ok," you say. "I do treat my gear." How?
1. I Air It Out and Spray It
Don't get me wrong, airing out your equipment is a good thing to do. It dries the gear quicker, and slows the growth of bacteria. But the bacteria will still grow. And although fragrance spray may mask the odor for a short time, it doesn't remove what's causing odor. So maybe you won't smell it as much, but the source is still there and still just as dangerous. It's kind of like covering your eyes when something bad is happening. Maybe you can't see it, but you're still definitely in danger.
"Well what if I use an antibacterial spray, smart alec?" Using an antibacterial spray will help slow bacterial growth, true. And it will even kill bacteria on the surface of your gear, so it's not a bad thing to use. However, most of the bacteria grows deep inside the gear, places where the antibacterial spray cannot reach. "Well then, how? HOW do we kill it?"
The best way to treat your gear is through an ozone treatment. Ozone is all-natural, 3,000 times more effective than bleach, and it kills MRSA and other antibiotic-resistant superbugs, bacterium that antibiotics can't kill.
"Gee, thanks for explaining what 'antibiotic-resistant' means, James. I get it now."
And the Fresh Gear system blasts ozone at high velocity so it gets through the dense padding of your gear, and into hard to reach places like the toes of skates or the fingertips of gloves. It only takes 30 minutes, and it costs less than your average cell phone bill too. So treat your gear! Do it for your own sake, your family's sake, and the sake of everyone who has to share a dressing room with you.
"Teenage Boy Playing With Joypad" courtesy of imagerymajestic // Freedigitalphotos.net
"Sofa in Living Room" courtesy of nuchylee // Freedigitalphotos.net
"Professional Showing Thumbs Up" courtesy of imagerymajestic // Freedigitalphotos.net
High schools in Carmel, Ind., and Northville, Mich. reported MRSA outbreaks within the past month. The lesson for all high school, collegiate and professional locker rooms: follow the CDC’s recommendation to be more proactive in preventing an outbreak rather than simply cleaning up after one occurs.
Great article in published in WIRED magazine on new technology being used to fight MRSA and other deadly bacteria found in schools, training facilities and even mass transit.
Fresh Gear is used by NHL, NCAA, OHL and Canadian National Teams, as well as firefighters, police, corrections, coast guard and military to kill MRSA and other deadly bacteria before leads to an infection.
MRSA infections have been in the news a lot recently. Is it a new threat?
Have a look at a summary of MRSA infections in the NFL, dating back to 2003...
MRSA: a Silent Danger Lurking in NFL Locker Rooms - ABC News
The NFL Players Association (NFLPA) may advise players of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Philadelphia Eagles not to play on Sunday in Tampa Bay depending on the results of a containment report after three Bucs players have tested positive for Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus or MRSA.
NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith released a statement, saying:
We have been involved in an ongoing review of the MRSA incidents in Tampa Bay initiated by the concerns we had about the manner in which team officials responded to these cases.
We advised the NFL and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers that an outside expert should be brought in to assess the situation and we are pleased with their decision to take that recommendation. We have also been in regular contact with the player representatives from Tampa Bay. We will reach out to the Philadelphia Eagles player representatives today and provide them with our best medical guidance and regular updates from the outside experts.
This underscores the need for a League-wide, comprehensive and standardized infectious disease protocol. It also calls for improved accountability measures on health and safety issues by the NFL over the clubs.
Fresh Gear sanitizes football pads and other protective sports gear, as well as the locker rooms and other critical areas that need sanitizing.
We utilize the natural power of ozone to kill germs on all exposed surfaces, drastically reducing the potential for infection. Using Fresh Gear products results in one of the most effective infection control procedures available, when combined with a basic personal hygiene routine.
"The NFL Physicians Society is reminding all team physicians to "remain vigilant" about trying to prevent MRSA infections and says it's acting at the league's request..."
"With no tried and true prevention, the best way to avoid MRSA infections is through hand washing and good hygiene. The close quarters of an NFL locker room...increases the risk of bacteria spreading."
It doesn't matter how tough you are...it only takes one bad infection to take you off the roster...or worse!
Clean your football pads regularly!
More MRSA misery for the Bucs...
The Cleveland Browns lost several players to MRSA a few years back. Bentley's career was cut short. He sued the Browns.
We have to treat this invisible enemy for seriously.
I've been asked many times over the 8 years we've been cleaning sports gear, "How often should I clean my hockey gear?"
"Is it contaminated with bacteria again when I sweat into it?" Also, "How bad is it and how risky is it to wear again?"
Each time we sweat into our clothing or protective sports gear we introduce moisture and bacteria. Perspiration is how the body cools itself and also one of the ways the body expels toxins.
How much bacteria is generated after each use?
Significant bacteria is introduced to our clothing or sports gear each time we sweat. However, what we do with the gear after we sweat into it can be an even greater contributor to bacteria buildup.
What storage conditions contribute to rapid bacteria cultivation?
Bacteria thrives in warm, wet and dark conditions like hockey bags and locker rooms. Washing the pads in your washing machine or with a “pressure washer”, adds more moisture to the gear and toxic black mold may result.
How can you reduce the risks of skin infections and MRSA?
1) CLEAN YOUR HOCKEY EQUIPMENT REGULARLY: NATA (National Athletic Trainers Association) official direction is to clean athletic clothing after each use and clean protective sports gear REGULARLY. If you clean your underwear, socks and t-shirt after every use, how long should you wait to clean your gear?
We recommend sanitizing your sports gear a minimum of every 6 weeks or 15-20 uses. Ask about the Ultimate Clean Package at your local Fresh Gear outlet. If available, it provides UNLIMITED cleaning for 1 full year at one low price.
If this is not practical for you, it is beneficial to apply a good alcohol based antibacterial spray, like Fresh Shield, after each time you wear your sports gear, to slow the regrowth of bacteria until the next Fresh Gear sanitizing treatment.
Fresh Shield is available from your local Fresh Gear operator or you can order online.
2) DRY YOUR SPORTS GEAR in a cool, dry and well ventilated location after each use. Get it out of the equipment bag!
That is easily the worst place for your gear.
The Fresh Gear process kills up to 99.99% of bacteria in your hockey equipment, football pads and lacrosse gear.
Protect your health and extend the life of your equipment.
Include Fresh Gear in your good hygiene routine.
NFL Kicker out for season due to serious MRSA infection.
Every year more athletes, including the pros, are getting nasty MRSA infections enduring much pain and suffering and losing valuable game time.
The best infection control is keeping yourself and your gear clean after every game and practice.
Basketballs, volleyballs can be magnets for bacteria, study finds
In order to enable the sanitizing of hard surface items like balls, toys and gym equipment, each RSS and Cyclone have steel shelves included with each purchase. For Storm customers, they will be a $300 option. The shelves are quickly and easily removable to enable the perforated piping to be re-installed for protective sports gear and other garments.
Use of Gaseous Ozone for Eradication of Methicillin‐Resistant Staphylococcus aureus From the Home Environment of a Colonized Hospital Employee
Summary of Study: An intensive care nurse with eczema was repeatedly treated for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) carriage. Because cultures remained positive for MRSA, her house was investigated. Thirty-four percent of environmental samples yielded MRSA. Her children and cat were free of MRSA.
The house was decontaminated with gaseous ozone. All subsequent cultures were negative for MRSA.
Contact Fresh Gear for full study
The National Athletic Trainers' Association (NATA) represents and supports 30,000 members of the athletic training profession through education and research.
NATA’s official statement regarding MRSA prevention recommends the following 10 precautions be taken, Fresh Gear can help with points 5 & 6:
Like your mom always told you, "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure".
Especially when it comes to avoiding superbugs like Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus or MRSA.
The consequences of becoming infected by MRSA can be life threatening or result in years of pain and rehabilitation.
A picture is worth a thousand words...
Drug-resistant pathogens are killing more than 23,000 in the U.S. each year, says a landmark study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. READ Toronto Star article.
The threat posed by Superbugs is not going away. We need to be aware and react accordingly.
by James Antinozzi
James Antinozzi has been in the ozone sanitizing business since 2005, when Ozone Nation Inc. was founded and launched it's flagship product, Fresh Gear.