Are Cleaning Workers Sanitizing And Disinfecting Too Much?
Dr. Jack Gilbert, associate director of the Institute for Genomic and Systems Biology at Argonne National Laboratory, believes that hospitals should have more microbial diversity. In other words, they need to be more dirty.
Contrary to hundreds of years of scientific practice, Dr. Gilbert and science writer Ed Yong told New York Post reporters that being exposed to more bacteria and microbes can actually improve health. In fact, removing the rich microbial ecosystem from hospitals could be attributed to the increase in drug-resistant superbugs and infection-causing viruses.
According to Yong, the vast majority of bacteria that exists inside humans is harmless and, in fact, act as protectors to boost immune systems. They also help develop internal organs, they replace dying and damaged cells, and they help bodies absorb and store nutrients and fats.
In some cases, the microbes that people carry around can be used to counteract ailments. According to reports, a potential cure for C.diff (94 percent effective in tests) stems from inside healthy individuals. This solution was found in a very unlikely place: the toilet.
The treatment consists of a fecal transplant. Specifically, healthy donor stool is placed inside the gastrointestinal tract of C.diff sufferers to reestablish a healthy balance of bacteria in the gut. The New York Post reports that it also comes in pill form.
It is believed that extensive and thorough cleaning techniques are actually impacting the ability to maintain a balance of healthy microbes. That leaves an opening for harmful species to step in and take over.
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