Privacy curtains at the University of Iowa Hospitals' medical ward and intensive care units tested positive for bacterial contamination in a study presented at the 51st Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy. Researchers found that two-thirds of 180 swab cultures taken from 43 curtains over three weeks were positive for either Staphylococcus aureus bacteria, Enterococcus species or gram-negative rods. Medical personnel should wash their hands after touching the curtains and before visiting a patient, lead researcher Michael Ohl said.

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