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Updated 09 October 2018

Therapy dogs may unleash superbugs, researchers say

Therapy dogs can bring more than joy and comfort to hospitalised kids. They can also bring stubborn germs.

Therapy dogs can bring more than joy and comfort to hospitalised kids. They can also bring stubborn germs.

Doctors at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore were suspicious that the dogs might pose an infection risk to patients with weakened immune systems.

Special wipes

They discovered that kids who spent more time with four therapy dogs had a six times greater chance of coming away with superbug bacteria than kids who spent less time with the animals.

But the study also found that washing the dogs before visits and using special wipes while they're in the hospital took away the risk of spreading that bacteria.

The results of the unpublished study were released at a scientific meeting in San Francisco.

Image credit: iStock

 
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