Tuesday, July 29, 2014

SUPERBUG defeats Super Bowl

In a recent post, I referred to a Slate article but didn't quote from it. I'll quote from it now. The article mentioned the tendency to prescribe antibiotics, even when the illness in question is viral in nature. While this may not harm the individual directly, it leads to something else.

Of more concern is the direct connection between antibiotic use and the emergence of drug-resistant "superbugs": As the medicine eliminates germs that are sensitive to it, drug-resistant mutant strains prosper. The result is a major public-health problem. Antibiotic-resistant infections such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus may cause more deaths in the United States than AIDS does.

Since I love acronyms anyway, I'll use the much shorter term "MRSA" instead. And while MRSA hasn't made it to a Hollywood blockbuster yet, it's certainly making it in other places...such as the football field.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and offensive lineman Carl Nicks have agreed to mutually part ways, the team announced on Friday.

Nicks was one of three Bucs players who suffered from some form of MRSA last season, although the Pro Bowl lineman didn't specify whether or not MRSA played a role in his decision to leave the team. Nicks also insinuated that he may be done with football....

The MRSA outbreak hit Tampa's facilities in mid-August and Nicks one of the players diagnosed with an infection. Nicks was eventually cleared to play and he saw in action in two games before the infection returned in October.

Jay Glazer used the word "settlement" to describe the agreement between the team and Nicks, implying that the Buccaneers paid money to Nicks.

But Nicks, so far, has been lucky. Nearly a decade ago, in 2005, 18,650 people died from MRSA - more than died from AIDS in that year. Some claim a much higher death rate today.
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