Fitness Pros Take a Closer Look at Locker Room Cleanliness

Virulent bacteria and a germ-sensitive public are forcing fitness pros to look more closely at locker room cleanliness.

4 E 707 Ab When prospective fitness club members tour new facilities, one of the last and traditionally least exciting stops is the locker room. By contrast, for cunning and mal-intentioned pathogens like fungi and bacteria, the dank environment of the locker room makes it a premier destination spot.

Fungal infections, like athlete's foot, have long been associated with humid locker rooms. Now the bacterium methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, which was once thought confined to hospitals and prisons, has been making its way into some athletic facilities. MRSA, often called a "super bug" for its resistance to traditional antibiotics, has been responsible for temporarily sidelining several well-known professional athletes, including a handful of NFL players, and even killing some amateur ones.

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