Maryn McKenna who provided valuable references to historical pandemic flu (1918-1919), is currently working on a book about Methicillin-resistant staph infections, MRSA.
She’s using a web log for her research. This allows us to track some of the latest research findings through her, but also allows interaction with readers as she is developing the book.
This blog is the virtual whiteboard for my new book, SUPERBUG: The Rise of Drug-Resistant Staph and the Danger of a World Without Antibiotics, coming in 2009 from Free Press. Whether you’re a MRSA researcher or a MRSA victim — or simply a major disease geek — I’m interested in your leads, thoughts, comments and stories. Watch this space for drafts and details as SUPERBUG moves forward.
I’m a freelance writer and author specializing in public health, medicine and health policy. I write features for national magazines and news stories for an infectious-disease website. In addition to this new book about the rise of drug-resistant staph around the world, I’m working on a multi-year research project on emergency room overcrowding and stress. … I’m interested in hearing from researchers, victims and disease geeks; all tips, thoughts, leads and personal stories are welcome. For more about me, check my website in the blogroll, along with other important sites about public health and disease. Let’s get started.
MRSA is now part of our tundra environment, along with various respiratory diseases (RSV, pneumonias) and skin infections (impetigo). This makes us part of the larger world– which we have been, of course, although some readers of the Anchorage Daily News seem blinded to the concept (Respiratory infections in Bush raise alarm : comments). MRSA is an example of evolution, an inadvertent selection by the medical system against the more benign or easier to kill (therefore less dangerous) microbes by killing them off with antibiotics. This allows the resistant microbes to take over. It also allows the resistant microbes to live outside the healthcare system in the community.
See previous posts,
- 3 things everyone should know to prevent pandemic flu, MRSA, RSV, pink-eye
- clean-hands-week-how-will-you-celebrate/ (and references)
It would be interesting to apply some of the understanding about MRSA to that of the higher rate of infectious diseases related to sanitation in our region. Inadequate clean water supplies are part, but not all, of the problem suggested by the recently published study. The region focussed on in the research is also served by just one health corporation which in the past, at least, has used antibiotics freely.
- Increased Health Risk Associated with Lack of In-home Running Water
- CDC STUDY: Villages that have to haul water have higher illness rates 2008
- Alaska study links bad plumbing, disease. Published: Feb. 28, 2006 http://www.upi.com/NewsTrack/Business/2006/02/27/alaska_study_links_bad_plumbing_disease/7842/
- Staph. aureus and MRSA in Alaska
It’s not just steambaths and high school wrestling mats. As a couple of people have found in Bethel, even bumping a knee can be dangerous.
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