Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus

MRSA as it is most commonly referred to, is beginning to rise in numbers within Canada. Many of you have heard of this bacterium as it is commonly known, the "superbug." Methicillin was introduced in the 1950s to treat infections caused by a penicillin-resistant staph. Within a few years, reports came in that the penicillin staph was starting to show signs of methicillin resistant. It seems that humans are just creating more and more problems for themselves.

As MRSA enters your body, first signs may be of infections in several different parts of the body. Pimples or boils are the simplest of the symptoms, with death being the most severe. Ironically, most people are infected with MRSA within hospitals, and any contact will do. Most of the time, the bacteria will enter the body through an open wound, and only then will the real problems begin.

Most staph infections can be easily treated by antibiotics, but what happens when you try to fool it too many times? It begins to learn and adapt. The bacteria is able to multiply rapidly, and while some antibiotics may work, most will not. MRSA has become resistant to almost all antibiotics used in the past. As more and more antibiotics are used to try and stabilize MRSA, the bacteria just adapts and becomes immune.

Although MRSA does not cause serious deadly infections, it is the fact that it has become immune to almost all antibiotics that worries doctors. I feel that this approach to combating the bacteria will just lead to more and more resistant strains of bacteria. Although action just be taken, I think that there is a better way. The bacteria acts as if it had a brain, if we keep hitting it with the same stick, soon it will know how to avoid or block the stick. I think the solution to this, and many problems should be to either take away the antibiotics and let the bacteria run its course, or to try and completely destroy the infection, rather than to try and avoid it.

Sadly the only real way of avoiding getting infected is to wash your hands, avoid contact with sick people, and cover up all open wounds. The superbug has become a true problem in Canada, so watch out people.

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