Tai Homespa offers compensation to skin bug victims
A Hamilton spa has confirmed it was the source of an outbreak of the bacterial infection MRSA, linked to at least 20 cases over recent weeks — but said it now has a clean bill of health.
Tai Homespa owner Juan Smith said his business would reimburse the cost of a spa treatment to any clients who'd fallen victim to the illness on his premises.
Authorities yesterday said that the risk of contracting the bug, which can cause skin blisters with a propensity for serious infection, could be considered as great at the implicated facility as it would be at any spa.
A single worker at Tai Homespa transmitted MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) without any idea they were carrying the germ.
“The Health Department told us as many of one in three people with the condition can be a carrier and have no idea,” Mr Smith said.
The Department has commended the Laffan Street business for complying immediately once the spa was suspected to be the source of the outbreak.
“As soon as an employee of the spa, who displayed no symptoms, tested positive, the spa was closed and deep cleaned, and the affected employee was immediately removed from work,” a spokesman said.
“Tai Homespa has been completely compliant and worked to make the required improvements on several fronts to prevent a recurrence.”
There is no evidence of ongoing or secondary transmission of the antibiotic-resistant bacterium.
Mr Smith said the facility had been fully cleaned and disinfected.
“Basically, we broke the entire facility down and cleaned everything,” he said. “After that, we cleaned everything again with the disinfectant, to be 100 percent certain we had eliminated the bacteria.”
The spa reopened with permission from the Department of Health.
Added Mr Smith: “We also want to offer our sympathy to other spas who may have been affected by the Government's policy of not disclosing our name, and we regret some of the comments that have been made in social media.
“Without in any way lessening the seriousness of MRSA, we note that this is a very common bacteria throughout the world and there have been more than 100 cases in Bermuda this year [as well as] last year. We hope that this episode, at the very least, will raise public awareness about this problem.
“We want them to know that our facility is 100 percent free of the MRSA bacteria and we now have a regular preventive maintenance programme in place which will see, in addition to daily spa cleaning, every bathroom cleaned with the anti-MRSA disinfectant once a week, and every treatment room thoroughly disinfected once a month.”
Staff will also be required to take quarterly tests for the MRSA germ.
“We always put the health and safety of our clients and staff first and our actions in this case demonstrate that,” Mr Smith said.
Mr Smith said that although the spa had no way of knowing about the infection, it had decided to offer compensation to anyone who could show they contracted the MRSA infection from the spa.
“Anyone who can show they contracted the MRSA infection from the spa will receive a refund for their original spa treatment and the spa will also give them a free spa treatment,” he said.