too many words by laura lemay

superbug escapes from hospitals

I have kind of an obsession with superviruses and prions and pathogens that have the potential to wipe out the human race. I eat this stuff up. Last year when SARS was everywhere and everyone was freaked out? I got no work done at all. The Hot Zone and The Coming Plague? My favourite bedtime reading.

So anyhow there’s this drug-resistant bacteria called Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus or MRSA (link is broken now) which had previously only been found in hospitals but is increasingly being spotted in groups of children, athletes, and people in close quarters such as jails and boot camps. It causes big abscesses that are frequently misdiagnosed and treated with the wrong drugs (eg most of them). And, unlike the MRSA strains found in hospitals it produces a necrotizing cytotoxin that causes pneumonia and kills you! Cool!