A recent study published in the Journal of Hospital Infection contains potentially far-reaching implications for the field of occupational medicine. The crux: beards are good for you.
Bacterial swabs taken from the faces of 408 health care workers, some sporting beards, others with cleanly shaven faces, showed that regular shavers are upwards of three times more likely to be carrying the much-feared MRSA bacteria (methicillin-resistant staph aureus).
The last several decades have seen a dramatic and worrying rise in the prevalence of antibiotic-resistant infection, MRSA chief among them. The same time period has seen a stall in the development of new antibiotics to fight these super-infections, which kill an estimated 700,000 people each year.