It’s happening again. Another mystery alphabet disease is on the rampage and guess who - or what - is at fault? It’s NOT Mother Nature.
MRSA, or Methicillin - Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus, kills 19,000 Americans a year. Most of us have staph bacteria on our skin and don’t suffer any serious ill effects at all. But MRSA is a different story. This strain of bacteria is potentially deadly because it’s antibiotic resistant - another super bug that has evolved from over treating with broad-spectrum antibiotics.
The scary thing is it’s constantly changing its M.O. Not only is it a threat for hospital patients, as it has been for some time, but it’s showing up in schools and community settings, too.
Now there is a strain infecting livestock. This is a health risk with global ramifications.Another man-made problem.
The livestock strain of MRSA is not just a U.S. problem. It has spread throughout Canada and Europe and tainted retail meat has shown up in some markets.
The dilemma can’t be blamed on poor hygiene or improper disinfections. The blame lies with the agricultural industry that feeds low dose antibiotics to livestock to prevent disease and accelerate growth.
When you follow the food chain, you’ll see the obvious outcome is that these antibiotics are passed along to humans when we eat the meat. We can also get them through plant food that has been fertilized with manure from these animals.
Eventually, common bacteria like staph aureus become impervious to antibiotics that once were successfully used to treat infections. How to avoid MRSA.
Studies show a direct correlation between meat production and human disease caused by resistant super bugs. When pig, cattle, and chicken farmers use antibiotics there is an increase in the number of people who contract antibiotic resistant diseases. It appears the agriculture and medical communities have something in common there, doesn’t it?
By all appearances they seem to be the driving force in the development of these robust and resistant bacteria.
And consider this. Now antibiotic resistant infections kill more people than AIDS. Shocking isn’t it? That’s why it’s so important to take this seriously and do all you can to avoid MRSA. Here’s how.
- Stay healthy and avoid hospitals. The overwhelming majority of people with MRSA contracted it in a health care facility.
- Don’t let your pets lick you. Some people do, you know. But your furry friends can carry MRSA, too. It spreads through saliva and if it gets close to an open wound, that spells trouble.
- Evaluate your own use of antibiotics. You can’t control what the agricultural communities do, but you do have some say so over the amount of antibiotics you take. Avoid them if at all possible.
Fortunately, some farmers are changing the way they care for their livestock and are cutting out the antibiotics. You can do your part by following the three tips above so you’re not a contributor to strengthening and spreading this dangerous super bug.