Radio Shows | It's Back… MRSA!| mp3 … wma … wav
Earlier this year we broadcast an episode on MRSA and guess what - it's backkkk… You've heard about the infection in many areas of the country and some that caused schools to close.
MRSA or Mer Sa stands for methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Almost 100,000 people a year are diagnosed with this bacterial infection and an astounding 18 percent die from it.
What's so dangerous about MRSA is how quickly it spreads and how sick it can make its victims. MRSA initiates a skin infection through tiny breaks in the skin - like pimples and razor irritations.
The infection can progress rapidly. In some cases, a small pimple can become a boil producing drainage that shed highly infectious bacteria. It can then enter the bloodstream or the lungs and cause pneumonia. That's when the disease becomes life threatening because MRSA is drug resistant.
The bacteria has a powerful arsenal. It produces protein toxin molecules to invade the skin and spread to deeper tissues. That allows the bacteria to avoid cells which normally destroy invading bacteria.
Additionally, MRSA can persist in the environment and transmit person to person by direct contact, sharing towels or other personal items. This explains why a school's weight rooms and locker rooms are often where there are outbeaks.
An antibiotic called vancomycin is the last resort for MRSA but the bacteria is growing resistance to even this drug. Since it takes about 12 years to get a new drug to market, biomedical research has a great challenge on its hands.
The good news is MRSA is easy to control using common practices. Covering draining wounds, not sharing personal items and rigorous hand washing.
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