Thursday, December 16, 2010

MRSA and You

The horrors of MRSA--- the so-called 'flesh-eating bacteria", or 'methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus'--- have been well-publicized in all media.

Staphyloccocus aureus bacteria can cause boils, huge abscesses, impetigo, deep septic wounds, heart-valve problems, toxic shock syndrome.... and death.

Now, recent landmark studies have shown that MRSA much prefers human hemoglobin to that of other animal blood. And hospitals are a preferred breeding ground. About 1.7 million healthcare-associated infections are closely linked to about 99,000 deaths in US hospitals every year.

Bad news, in that MRSA apparently thrives on humans. Good news, in that MRSA may be less likely acquired from other animals.

Now, there is some definitely good MRSA news, published in JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association).

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) report that MRSA infections have dropped significantly in the USA over the last four years.

Researchers examined data from 2005 through to the end of 2008 of nine American metropolitan areas. They reveal that health care-associated invasive methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections fell among patients with infections that began in the community or in the hospital.

MRSA is highly resistant to a number of antibiotics, including methicillin. Staphylococcus aureus lives on human skin and inside the nose. It's normally harmless, and in fact, most people carrying it are totally unaware.

In the UK, 30% of the population are said to carry MRSA in their nose or on their skin. And MRSA moves readily through any kind of skin contact. But most immune systems keep it at bay.

So why worry? Staphyloccocus aureus bacteria invade the body through a cut or wound. That's why hospitals see so much MRSA.

Patients with weakened immune systems (for example due to other illnesses) or who have undergone surgery (for example heart surgery or hip replacement) can develop more serious problems.

The CDC researchers can't explain the recent decrease in invasive health care-associated MRSA infections.

Could it be better nutrition, alongside better MRSA prevention practices?

One thing all researchers agree upon--- good nutrition can help you build your immune system., your body's first line of defense against all disease.

A diet rich in vegetables and fruit can give you credit in your body's health bank, for the time when it's desperately needed.

Every moment, a war is ranging on your skin, as your antibodies attack bacteria and viruses attempting to invade and colonize you.

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