Boils are a major health problem affecting rural Alaska Native communities. Boils result from transmission of Staphylococcus aureus from steam bath surfaces, infected skin, and household environments. To assess the acceptability of practices to prevent boils within one community, we surveyed 57 households before and after distribution of supplies and educational materials. Before distribution, 64% of households cleaned steam baths with bleach (23/36), 72% used steam bath seat barriers (41/57), 74% did not share scrubbers (42/57), 35% added recommended bleach to laundry (20/57), and 30% used hand sanitizer (17/57). After distribution, 75% households used new scrubbers (43/57), 88% used new seat barriers (50/57), and 25% used new antiseptic skin cleanser (14/57). Additionally, after the intervention, more households used seat barriers in steam baths (from 72% to 86%, p = .046) and hand sanitizer (from 30% to 60%, p < .001). This study supports development of a household-based intervention as a potential strategy to prevent boils in Alaska Native communities.
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