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Health Highlights: Dec. 16, 2019

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

New Plastic Wrap Repels Bacteria

A self-cleaning, bacteria-repelling plastic wrap developed by Canadian researchers could help protect hospital patients from bacteria, including antibiotic-resistant superbugs.

The plastic can be shrink wrapped onto surfaces where bacteria often lurk, such as door handles, railings and IV stands, CNN reported.

“We developed the wrap to address the major threat that is posed by multi-drug resistant bacteria,” said research co-leader Leyla Soleymani, an engineering physicist at McMaster University in Toronto.

“Given the limited treatment options for these bugs, it is key to reduce their spread from one person to another,” she told CNN.

The research on the plastic wrap, which repels water, blood and bacteria, was published Dec. 13 in the journal ACS Nano.

Taking a cue from water-resistant lotus leaves, the wrap is textured with microscopic “wrinkles” that are chemically treated, so water, blood or bacteria bounce off the surface of the wrap.

More than 2.8 million antibiotic-resistant infections occur in the United States every year, resulting in more than 35,000 deaths, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The wrap could also be used to package food, to halt the spread of bacteria such as E.coli, salmonella and listeria, the scientists noted.

Some 20% of all drug-resistant infections come from food, according to the CDC.

Copyright © 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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