News Stories

Superbugs on the Loose

Antibiotic-resistant superbugs are back in the news. These are caught and passed around mainly in hospitals, because so many antibiotics are used there, but occasionally they escape and invade the "real world." Some people think that Morgellon's may be a superbug.

The official name for superbugs is MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus). It's a type of staph skin infection that's being increasingly seen in communities across the nation that is resistant to antibiotics, such as cephalexin and dicloxacillin, that are most commonly used to treat skin infections. MRSA is the origin of all those stories about "flesh eating" diseases.

Think that's a spider bite on your arm? It could be MRSA. Researchers report in the current issue of The New England Journal of Medicine that it's the most common skin infection seen in emergency rooms across the nation. It has been found hospitals and nursing homes for 40 years. In the last few years, however, a new type of MRSA has emerged, affecting people with no connection to health care settings. Outbreaks of these new strains of MRSA have been reported among athletes, correctional facility inmates and military recruits.

Researcher Gregory J. Moran says, "It appears now that everyone is at risk, so if you think you have a spider bite or other type of skin lesion that is not healing, you want to see your doctor to make sure it's not an infection like MRSA."

Art credit: freeimages.co.uk

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