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Infectious superbug spreading in downtown Vancouver (Health)

posted by bibleprobe1(R), 02.14.2008

Infectious superbug spreading in downtown Vancouver
Linda Nguyen , Canwest News Service

Infectious superbug spreading in downtown Vancouver

The proportion of people living in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside carrying a notorious superbug has jumped 150 per cent in the past six years, according to a new study.

The study, published in the February edition of the Journal of Clinical Microbiology, compared data on methicillin-

resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, randomly gathered in 2006 with data from a similar study done in 2000 on residents living in Vancouver's poorest neighbourhood.

One of the six co-authors of the study said yesterday the results are a "real concern" to the public as the infectious superbug continues to show up increasingly in hospitals, aboriginal communities, prisons and daycares across Canada.

"It is important to remember that MRSA is increasing throughout the population," said Dr. Reka Gustafson, a medical health officer with the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority. "This isn't something that is limited to the Downtown Eastside population."

While some forms of the bacteria are treatable, others are resistant to antibiotics.

The staph infection, which usually causes skin infections that may look like pimples or boils, can lead to pneumonia, bloodstream infections or surgical wound infections.

Read entire article at here

Related article:

15 January 2008
Epidemic Feared - 'Gays' May Spread Deadly Staph Infection to General Population

First spotted in 2001, it has since morphed "from laboratory curiosity into the dominant form of staph infection in much of the United States." The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calculated last fall that drug-resistant staph was killing 19,000 Americans a year - more than are dying of AIDS.

WASHINGTON, Jan. 15 /Christian Newswire/ -- Reuters has reported that, "A drug-resistant strain of potentially deadly bacteria has moved beyond the borders of U.S. hospitals and is being transmitted among gay men during sex, researchers said on Monday.

"They said methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, is beginning to appear outside hospitals in San Francisco, Boston, New York and Los Angeles."

"'Once this reaches the general population, it will be truly unstoppable,' said Binh Diep, a researcher at the University of California, San Francisco who led the study."

The infection causes boils and other infections but the report said what is unusual is that up to 40 percent of the infections occur in the buttocks and genitalia.

"Data suggest that multidrug-resistant USA300 has spread rapidly among men who have sex with men in San Francisco and Boston, and that having male-male sex seems to be a risk factor," the report said.

According to the study, at this point, homosexual men are 13 times more likely to contract the potentially deadly, drug-resistant strain of staph infection, but the fear is that, because the infection is spread via skin-to-skin contact, homosexual men may soon spread it to the general population.

Read more about this: here


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