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According to a recent report from the US Department of Health and Human Services, as many as 2.8 million adults living in long-term care facilities (LTCFs) contract HAIs every year, and as many as 380,000 of these residents die annually due to these infections. A growing body of research has revealed that surfaces in healthcare facilities – specifically, privacy curtains and surface touchpoints – are hotbeds of contamination. Even with protocol-driven laundering and housekeeping, gaps remain and re-contamination happens. Another just-published study shows bacteria "rebound" within hours of surface disinfection. Despite this grim reality, most LTCFs continue to rely on preventative methods that have proven insufficient. This leads us to conclude that R&D into safeguarding these surfaces may be the next battleground, and some new technologies are showing promise.
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