Superbug Spreading – Drug-resistant Staph Infection Making a Comeback

Emergency rooms now have one more thing to worry about. A staph variant which was once rare has made an astounding comeback. The biggest problem, it’s resistant to antibiotics. This staph strain is now believed to be responsible for over half of all skin infections treated in American hospitals, a number still continuing to rise.

Spider bite, pimple?

One of the biggest problems with the entire situation, next to the infects drug resistance, is the fact that many people do not know they are sick until the infection has spread significantly. Many victims believe they have a spider bite that just won’t heal, or a stubborn pimple that just won’t get better. No one realizes they may instead have a much more serious problem, an infection which until a decade ago was only found in hospitals and nursing homes.

Caught off guard

The sudden rise in cases is a surprise not only to patients and the general public, but to doctors as well. Very few saw a situation such as the one we are presently presented with as imminent and nearly everyone was caught off guard. Some doctors even unknowingly prescribed unnecessary medicines which have no effect on the bacteria. It is just now coming to light as to how prevalent this serious staph infection is.

A serious problem

Staph skin infections are very serious, even life threatening problems. These simple infections can change from minor into life threatening if the bacteria are able to enter the bloodstream. Drug resistant strains, such as the one involved with the current outbreak, can also cause severe pneumonias as well as “skin-eating” diseases.

Study results

A study completed in 2004 paid for by the CDC studied the vastness of methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections. The study monitored the emergency rooms of 11 cities. Out of the 422 total cases, 59 percent of them were caused by the disease. MRSA is unaffected by the penicillin family of drugs, the long used treatment of staph infections.

Tracking the spread

MRSA skin infection rates ranged from 15 percent up to 74 percent in some locales. The superbug normally thrives in health-care settings where open wounds, a favorite of MRSA, are prevalent. More recently however, outbreaks have occurred in places where skin contact or the use of shared items is common practice. These locations include in prisons, between children, and in locker rooms. Another common transmission of the germ is from tattoos.

Research is currently being done to find a treatment for the superbug, and more information will hopefully be found soon. As infection ratios continue to rise and effects become more evident, more research will be completed in order to cure the condition even sooner. Until a solution is found, practice good health and hygiene practices to avoid contracting the resistant MRSA strain.

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