Drug-resistant staph bacteria is getting harder to treat. What once was a simple problem to solve is now causing more serious illnesses than ever before.
The staph germs that are in common community settings are gaining the term “superbug” and it’s healthy people who are at risk. These germs used to be easier to treat than the more dangerous staph found in hospitals and nursing homes.
The culprit is methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, a common bacteria that many people carry on their skin or in their noses infecting others while having no symptoms. Most of the time MRSA causes skin infections and although it can be serious it is treatable. The problems arise when the bacteria gets into the bloodsteam, lungs or organs. On Monday at a Washington infectious diseases conference doctors reported pneumonia, sinus infections and even “flesh-eating” wounds due to MRSA are on the rise.
20,000 deaths a year are caused by the staph bacteria. 95,000 people will have to be treated for serious infections from it.
MRSA is generally resistant to penicillin drugs. 10 percent of staph infections are also becoming immune to clindamycin, tetracycline, Bactrim or other antibiotics.