Letter Re: Effective Germ Fighters

In his recent SurvivalBlog article, Don H. incorrectly stated that alcohol will not kill MRSA or Staph.  I want to set the record straight on this, as working with bacteria is my career.  Any bacteria that does not form spores will be contact-killed by a 70% Isopropanol (or other alcohol) treatment.  This includes MRSA (and other staph bacteria, as MRSA is Methycillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus). 

The only commonly encountered bacteria that will certainly not be killed with alcohol are Clostridium species (the source of botulism [C. botulinum] and gas gangrene [C. perfringens] and Mycobacterium species [M. tuberculosis].  C. difficile is another Clostridium species that infects humans, but in a situation where antibiotics are unavailable, C difficile (C. diff) will most likely never appear.  Being an opportunistic pathogen, it can only infect patients that have had their intestinal flora (gut bacteria) wiped out by rounds of antibiotics.  

Until a collapse occurs, I suggest hospital patients and their family members rip into staff that use only the alcohol foam instead of washing their hands before working with a patient.  Most of these infections are spread by lazy hospital workers who don’t wash up between patients. – J.R.M.