About one-third of the stations had at least one employee who tested positive for the antibiotic-resistant strain of MRSA, the study showed.
Firefighters face perils beyond smoke and flames. New research shows that MRSA, a bacterium often associated with hospitals, is present in 19 of 33 Washington state fire stations.
Firefighters and paramedics pick up the "superbug" while treating people while responding to calls in the community, and bring it back to the common quarters in which they sleep and eat, said Marilyn Roberts, professor of environmental and occupational health sciences in the University of Washington's School of Public Health. She led the study, published in the American Journal of Infection Control.