Many cases happen in the hospital, but there are also cases of people getting sick in schools and jails. New strains of staph are developing a resistance to drugs.
News on 6 Business reporter Steve Berg found a Tulsa company marketing a new cleaning product that they say could practically eliminate staph.
It began mostly by chance, when Mike Sitton says a friend mentioned a website for a California bioscience company. So he gave the owner a call, "he told us what they developed and what they had, and it just intrigued the heck out of us."
Pure Bioscience told him they had perfected a way to create a stable silver ion. The disinfecting properties of silver have been known for thousands of years. What the stable ion provides is shelf life, so it can be used in a cleaning product. "It's like a Trojan Horse," Sitton said.
The ion is coated in a citric acid that germs see as a food source, and when they consume it, the silver kills them.
Attorney Fred Stoops is a partner with Sitton in Enviroguard, a Tulsa company that has exclusive rights to market staph attack, plus future products that will use the silver ion technology.
The uses are nearly limitless. The Tulsa County jail says use of the cleaner reduced their staph infections from around 12 per month to 0.
Hospitals are another logical use. "I would say that virtually every one of your listeners knows somebody who has gone to the hospital and gotten sicker going to the hospital than they were when they came to the hospital," Stoops said.
What might be most amazing though is that, as fierce as it is with germs, the silver ion based cleaner is non-toxic.
In 6 months to a year, they say they'll have FDA approval to use it in products that can be applied directly on food and skin. "The uses, to call it a miracle product seems like you're stating something too grandiose, but it really isn't," said Stoops.
The "Staph Attack" product will continue to be manufactured in California, but if sales increase, Enviroguard says they plan to have a distribution warehouse in Tulsa.