Worse Than AIDS

Ken AshfordHealth Care1 Comment

Oh, great:

2007_10_17t130708_450x305_us_superbCHICAGO, Illinois (AP) — More than 90,000 Americans get potentially deadly infections each year from a drug-resistant staph "superbug," the government reported Tuesday in its first overall estimate of invasive disease caused by the germ.

Deaths tied to these infections may exceed those caused by AIDS, said one public health expert commenting on the new study. The report shows just how far one form of the staph germ has spread beyond its traditional hospital setting.

The overall incidence rate was about 32 invasive infections per 100,000 people. That’s an "astounding" figure, said an editorial in Wednesday’s Journal of the American Medical Association, which published the study.

Most drug-resistant staph cases are mild skin infections. But this study focused on invasive infections — those that enter the bloodstream or destroy flesh and can turn deadly.

Fortunately, we got a crack healthcare system in this country, so I wouldn’t worry to much….

UPDATE:  Where did this staph come from?  And why am I only hearing about it now?  Damn thing’s already upon us:

A county in southern Virginia closed its 21 schools on Wednesday to clean them to prevent the spread of a dangerous bacterial infection that killed a 17-year-old high school student, officials said.

The student died this week from a drug-resistant staph infection known as Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, which has become a worrisome public health issue nationwide.

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Sabrina Rahim doesn’t practice any particular faith, but she had no problem signing a letter declaring that because of her deeply held religious beliefs, her 4-year-old son should be exempt from the vaccinations required to enter preschool.

She is among a small but growing number of parents around the country who are claiming religious exemptions to avoid vaccinating their children when the real reason may be skepticism of the shots or concern they can cause other illnesses. Some of these parents say they are being forced to lie because of the way the vaccination laws are written in their states.