The Dallas County Jail is the site of one of the most comprehensive studies ever done of a dangerous, drug-resistant bacterial infection that has alarmed health officials, reports the Dallas Morning News. The Parkland Memorial Hospital staff is handing out medicated cleansing cloths to hundreds of participating inmates to see whether the cloths will stop the spread of the infectious, flesh-eating bacteria methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA. It’s part of a three-year University of Chicago study of the spread of staph infections in the jail that began last year.
“We were excited to do it because it’s the only study of its type to be done in a jail,” said Sharon Phillips, Parkland’s vice president in charge of jail health. “It’s a great study and hopefully in the next couple of years, we’ll know more about MRSA.” The Chicago research team hopes to publish its results next year. If successful, the study could offer guidance to improve prevention in jails and prisons and other public facilities, including schools and recreation centers. It also could help stop inmates from spreading MRSA to the general population after their release.