MRSA

1 06 2007

There’s an old enemy in town, the microbe called MRSA (frequently pronounced MURsah). MRSA stands for methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus. It’s a bacterium that used to be picked up during hospital stays and was easily knocked out by a dose of penicillin.

Not anymore. It’s resistant to many common antibiotics, making it harder to treat.

This bug is now found in gyms and other places where people get together. It’s a problem for everyone. It usually looks like a skin infection, but it can get in the bloodstream and urinary tract and cause multiple symptoms.

Time was, it would take a couple of days to get the labs back identifying MRSA in a patient, but now it’s just a couple of hours. Technology is a wonderful thing.

And then there is the anti-tech treatment – maggots.

Doctors at the University of Manchester in Britain have successfully treated foot ulcers in diabetics with maggots. Yes, maggots. They put the little larvae on the ulcers several times a day and watched them dine on damaged tissue. Reports are that the patients healed much faster than with normal treatment.

Hard to get over the willies with that bit of news.

The best prevention is to keep your hands clean, wash and cover your wounds, avoid touching other people’s wounds or bandages, and don’t share personal items (towels, razors and so on).

There are more conventional treatments for MRSA, but if you’re not careful, you, too, may find yourself at the business end of a maggot.


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