Friday, March 26, 2010

Serious new acupuncture infection risks described

From the always awesome Consumer Health Digest

Microbiologists at the University of Hong Kong are concerned that the threat of infections associated with acupuncture may be much greater than previously thought. In a British Medical Journal editorial, the researchers warned that bacterial infections, hepatitis B and C viruses, and possibly even HIV may be transmitted through the use of contaminated equipment and lack of adequate skin disinfection. They expressed particular concern about mycobacteria that can grow rapidly where needles are inserted and lead to large pustules, abscesses, and ulcers after several weeks to months. Two outbreaks involving more than 70 patients were reported in 2006, and a case of methicillin resistant Staph aureus (MRSA)was reported last year. [Acupuncture transmitted infections. British Medical Journal 340:c1268, 2010]

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