Take Two for December 10, 2012

FDA finds antiseptic swabs may be culprit in infection outbreaks

Medical face masks, antiviral medication

MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/Getty Images

Medical face masks, antiviral medication Tamiflu boxes and no rinse hydro-alcoholic antiseptic gels are pictured on July 22, 2009 in Paris. While the World Health Organisation has stopped collating figures on infected numbers, European Union Health Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou predicted on July 18, 2009 that 60 million people across the 27-nation bloc would need priority vaccination.

Like flu shots, antiseptics and disinfectants are supposed to kill germs, but now there's evidence of cases where these products actually caused infections.

Researchers at the Food and Drug Administration found contaminated single-use swabs and surgical antiseptics were responsible for a number of infection outbreaks across the country. Later this week, the FDA will hold a two-day hearing on the matter.

For more on this we're joined by Wired's Maryn McKenna, author of the book "Superbug."


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