Friday, October 19, 2007
The low down on MRSA
Over the past week, I have received more questions about MRSA than just about any other topic. MRSA has also been called the "superbug". At its most basic level, MRSA is a type of staph bacteria called Staphylococcus aureus. This is a bacteria that is normally found on all of our skin. Yes, if you were to take some skin scrapings right now and look under a microscope, you would probably find some of the staphylococcus bacteria. The problem arises when that bacteria becomes resistant to antibiotics. That's when it becomes "Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus" or MRSA.

Here are a couple things to keep in mind. While the bacterium is resistant to Methicillin, there are other more powerful antibiotics, such as Vancomycin, which can still be effective. The key is to make the diagnosis early and to complete a full course of antibiotic treatment. That can get rid of the bacteria entirely. Some clues that you might have it include wounds that aren't healing - usually more than one at a time. These are obviously wounds that don't seem to get better even with normal antibiotic treatment.

A larger issue may be whether or not we are developing new antibiotics fast enough. There is no question that antibiotic resistance develops as a result of our increased and sometimes inappropriate use of antibiotics. So, there is a real need for new antibiotics. The problem is these new antibiotics are incredibly expensive to develop and take years of clinical testing before they are approved. After that, doctors will only prescribe them in rare cases, when other antibiotics don’t work. That makes drug companies less enthusiastic about developing the new medications.

There in lies a dilemma. Obviously, it would make sense for society to do everything possible to prevent antibiotic resistance. As we learned, however, that ship may have already sailed. There were around 90,000 cases of MRSA in 2005 and almost 19,000 deaths. And, we are already starting to hear of infections resistant to all the antibiotics that exist.

How will we take care of antibiotic resistant infections if there are no new medications in the pipeline? Keep in mind, this is not a theoretical question -- this is starting to happen already.
MRSA is preventable.

<< Tommy G. Thompson, former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services and former four-term Governor of Wisconsin, joined the Board of Directors of PURE last year and was retained by PURE as a business development consultant. “I became involved with PURE last year because I saw the potential of this important solution for the prevention of deadly MRSA infections. I am actively working with PURE to introduce this novel antimicrobial to hospitals and to the health care community. PURE’s SDC-based antimicrobial is a powerful weapon against MRSA that can actually save lives. Unlike the traditional disinfectants currently used in hospitals and other institutions, SDC-based disinfectant mitigates the development of microbial resistance, is fast acting, easy to use, does not require rinsing and does not produce irritating fumes. It is very effective for controlling these types of infections.”

Thompson continued, “MRSA and other hospital and community acquired infections are preventable diseases, and I believe focus must shift from treatment to prevention in order to contain the spread of MRSA and avoid a potential epidemic in our hospitals, schools and throughout our communities. The emergence of resistant bacteria has changed the game for infectious disease control professionals, and an immediate solution must be implemented to avoid further preventable human and economic losses.” >>

Read the complete story at:
I would like to see coverage of MSRA and what it would do to someone, like myself, who has an autoimmune disorder (I have lupus and Sjogren's Syndrome). Remember that that everyone doesn't have a normal immune system and that needs to be addressed when covering medical issues.

It is now October 19th and still no mention of Lupus Awareness Month. Those of us with this incurable and potentially life threatening autoimmune disorder need the same amount of coverage that breast cancer receives, it is just as deadly. When will we be given any news on lupus? We have to surf the web to find any information in order to live and to deal with this condition that can kill us.
In the USSR, before they had widespread anti-biotics, they did a lot of pioneering research on using bacteriophages to combat bacterial infection. Maybe harkening back to this "primitive" but still effective method of using a natural bacterial predator could yield results.
All the info we've been hearing is great and informative. I was wondering if we could see some pictures of what exactly MRSA or the beginnings of look like?
I have had at least 4 staph infections in the past year. I am not in school, I don't have an impaired immune system, I do not play sports, and I live alone; and when the first 1 showed up I was using Tone Antibacterial Body Wash - for the first time. Being through those infections was very painful and I am 'glad' to know people are being warned of this bacteria. However, everything in the media right now is suggesting that factors of overcrowding, using others personal hygenic materials, or having a low immune system are what people should be wary of.
I am a living, perfect example that none of these factors can affect you & you are still susceptible to the 'superbug'. I think the public doesn't need to panic but they need to be informed that this 'superbug' is way easier to obtain than is being told.
I think people need to be more that there are two kinds of MRSA. The deadlier strain HA-MRSA (hospital-axquired) is causing most of these problems so when you look back had some contact with a hospital, clinic, or long term care facility. Compared to CA-MRSA community acquired is more common and more susceptible to antibiotics. I contacted CA-MRSA (unknown how) and it was no more than a Strep Throat and a 'spider bite'- a common sign of MRSA. Although it is methicillin resistant (and all penicillin-like drugs)it can still be stopped by drugs such as Septra (SMX/TMP), Doxcycline (and tetracycline) and some are susceptible to fluoroquinolones like Avelox. Many others IV drugs such as Vancomycin, daptomycin (Cubicin), linezolid (Zyvox), quinupristin/dalfopristin (Synercid), and tigecycline (Tygacil)will also work against MRSA. There is also a 5th generation of Cephalosporin due to hit the market with the chemical name Ceftobiprole.

Looking back there are several drugs that can cover this MRSA strain. However, there are two other strains of 'mutated' bacteria that have only two drugs that will work. I am talking about Penicillin Resistant Streptococcus Pneumoniae (PRSP) and Vancomycin Resistant Enterococcus (VRE). These strains of bacteria are not in the headlines because they occur less frequently than MRSA. They need to be looked into before they get out of hand.

Most people would ask, "Why do these drugs become resistant?" The answer to that's us. People are misusing antibiotics such as: placing it in feed for animals, using it for viral infections, and patients stopping early on their treatment. Making sure everyone is using these medications properly will slow down the time it takes for their 'bugs' to become mutant (however, it cannot be prevented.)

Bacteria also become resistant on a term coined by Charles Darwin coined "survival of the fittest." A person taking an antibiotic can kill all the 'bugs' but leave one. The bacteria changes one small part and survives and multiples. Now this "strain" of bacteria is no longer effected by that particular drug. Now the instance this happens in one in millions to billions. In human terms that seems like a lot but the way bacteria can multiply, it doesn't take too long.

All in all, I hope everyone can learn what happens when antibiotics are abused, and understand the importance of taking them properly.
Dr. Gupta,

Good evening. My name is Mark Motsiff and I have a son who is now 3 and half years old and contracted MRSA when he was one years old. We were living in Tampa, FL at the time and my child was in day care. The oddity of his MRSA case was no one understood why it entered his lymphatic system. The CDC was contacted after no other diagnosis could be had. After a biopsy was done, they determined it was MRSA and the treatment was Rifampin and Cylindamyacin (sorry about the SP) five times a day. I took my son home after fives days in the hospital and continued treatment – five times a day for a month. This issue is very important to me because my wife and I have been together 11 years and were told we could never have children. So, to watch my son battle through this – I just feel compelled to raise more awareness. I became a stay at home dad and since then.

Sir, I can tell you that the problem also is very serious in day care centers – not just at the high school level. I cannot express the urgency for a resolution regarding MRSA. I hardly ever write to anyone – but have done so on Thursday to the CDC to get more awareness out on a national level. The CDC stated washing hands, but the people need to also know that if they have a fever over 103 for two days – get to the doctor and test for MRSA. Sir, my son had a 104 fever for a week – this is no joke. Again, my passion for this topic is very strong and awareness needs to be stated. If you have a fever above a 103 that has not broke in two days - get to the doctor and TEST FOR MRSA - ASAP! Why is no one saying this??? Just washing your hands does not stave off the point of no return!!! Please - this is real and miss diagnosis is far to common to mitagate this to just washing your hands!!!!!!!!!!!

The urgency for myself to find some type of cure is that of HIV for me, because I witnessed first hand what MRSA can do to my one year old!!!!

Thank you very much,

Mark Motsiff
Yes the MRSA outbreak is scary. For recent years not much attention has been paid to this deadly superbug. Sadly I had my introduction to it in July of 2005. MY daughter Madeline Reimer came down with a cold but then quickly it became much more than a typical cold. She did not have the classic signs. No fever, no rash or boil. Just a cold.It seemed to be a viral infection but it went from a cough to then me having to perform CPR on her.She was airlifted to a hospital in Chicago and we were told she had MRSA.The strain she had was more of a flesh eating bacteria.Over the course of 11 days we watched her lungs deteriorate. Our Madeline sadly passed away after fighting for those 11 days. The recent outbreak in cases and in the media has brought some of the needed attention this deadly bacteria.
I sadly do not feel this will be the last of the outbreaks we will witness.
Hi my name is Jackie, and I just wanted to let you people know about my 56 year old father. He was a truck driver based out of Ontario but was always in and out of Florida, North Carolina, New York, etc..Somewhere in the States he picked up Community MRSA because he was not in a hospital. On his way back from Florida on Sept 7 2007, he stopped in North Carolina to get fuel and fainted in a truck stop, they called 911 and was admitted in ICU. He then was put on life support and everything started shutting down. The MRSA went to his lungs first and the bacteria destroyed most of his right lung. In the midst of all this the antibiotics they were giving him were so strong it was shutting his kidneys down. He was in North Carolina for almost 2 weeks along with his 3 kids. Once his insurance company found out about this they wanted him back in Canada, so they medivacked him to London Ontario where he stayed until he passed away on Oct 8 2007, all from MRSA. I just wanted to let people know because I hear on the news everyday now about the outbreak of MRSA and kids getting sick and even dying. If you have any questions please feel free to e mail me back, Thank You
Dr. Gupta, I just saw the CNN report on MRSA, please teach the reporter how to pronounce staphylococcus. I'm a pediatrician in Ada, a rural area in central Oklahoma. The report focused on MRSA in sports programs, crowded urban areas and hospitals. I realize these are problem areas but what may not be realized is we see kids with MRSA several days a week aquired in "normal" american communities. Many require hospitalization for IV vancomycin or synercid. Currently I don't believe state health departments are having us report cases diagnosed in clinics. I appreciate your work. Ruth Weesner MD
MRSA can be prevented 99% by PURE Bioscience 'Staph Attack' product that is just being made available to the hospital, school, jail, and the general population ('Germ Control' 24 at Home Depot is another variation).

Gov. and former Health & Human Services Sec'y. Tommy Thompson stated complete efficacy against MRSA this past week; and this has not yet been covered. We wrote about it on our site this weekend. Full disclosure: we own this San Diego (el Cajon) stock for a year but that's not the point. My Mom had a staph infection, and too bad the hospital didn't prevent it by using this kind of non-toxic new inexpensive preventative (much cheaper than cost of treating the disease). Let's kill the bugs not people! Good coverage otherwise!

I am the pioneer of financial TV, and do not trumpet something that I don't believe in; and never post on these blogs. This is important.


gene inger
A few days ago Dr. Gupta said that MRSA is the " flesh eating bacteria". The flesh eating bacteria is Group A Beta srtep not
staph. MRSA is a staphylococcus.
Greetings Dr. Gupta. I go to the gym regularly and after hearing your warnings about not sharing sports equipment because of MRSA, I'm wondering what sort of precautions I can take at the gym? I am already careful about not touching my eyes, nose or mouth while working out and I thoroughly wash my hands before leaving the gym to prevent getting a cold. Is there anything else I should do? Thanks much. - Jennifer, Pittsburgh PA
I have been a RN for years, we have fought MRSA for a long time. Vancomycine works on some, not on others. MRSA can be found in the enviroment. We ceated the super bug. Look around your own home and count how many soaps, cleaners, lotions and other everyday items, they have antibiotics in them. Farmers feed their chickens, cows, pork, etc antibiotics, thus adding to the superbug.
People do not take all of their antibiotics because they feel better. Well guess what, they just made what ever organism or bacteria just a little stronger.

As some comedian says "Wake up America." We need to use common sense when it comes to having antibiotics that are not needed, such as for a virus. I have seen many parents become enraged because the DR woud not give an antibiotic. Antibiotics do not work on viruses.

DR's also need to consider that the rash, or other skin aliment just might be Stevens Johnson Syndrome, or other things we do not see often.
Wow. Scary stuff. Staph infections can be a life and death matter. A dear friend of our family, who is an emergency room nurse, is still dealing with it after almost losing his leg to it. We were all in great distress worried about him while all this was happening. It was so scary.

It started out with him having some eczema on his leg. He had super high fever for 3 days but no one knew the reason. They thought it was simply a super bad flu. Then suddenly he had red streaks on his legs with pockets of water. Then within ONE day they suddenly burst into open sores – the flesh was open and raw. His leg was swollen to 3 times its size.

He was immediately hospitalized. His fever was so high he felt as if his blood was boiling. He was hot all over and then had chills and was shaking like a leaf. He went into almost a state of shock and he was fighting for his life.

Eventually they diagnosed him with the serious STAPH infection.

He came very close to losing his leg. One day the surgeon came in and began tracing marks on his legs. His wife said it was so terrifying. The surgeon said that if the infection spread outside those tracing marks within the next few hours and overnight then they would have to operate the next day. Our friend was told he would lose part or all of his leg. Traumatic news.

At the same time another doctor came in to see him and didn’t agree with the surgeon and wanted to give it more time. He felt that one day was too short a time to wait to see if it progressed or not and held back the surgeon. (our friend’s wife said that thankfully this doctor ended up saving her husband from having his leg amputated)

A microbiologist was called in and they tried all different types of antibiotics. For awhile nothing seemed to work. They tried all kinds of different things. It took awhile but by making some sort of ‘cocktail’ with at least 2 types of super strong antibiotics administered through IV – it finally helped to break the fever.

I don’t know how to explain this properly…but they also had a special machine that helped to drain the infection. It’s hard to describe but it was like a large sponge was put into each infected area and it was hooked up to suction outflow and in a few days it finally drained the infection and it began to form scars and heal.

He was in the hospital for approx 3 weeks dealing with this traumatic situation.

I talked to his wife today and she said even now her husband’s leg is still swollen and is actually visibly larger in size. He has been told he will always have to be careful. And even last June or July he had another flare up of it – it wasn’t serious and thankfully it responded to treatment.

His wife said she learned from this that if anyone has a worries or suspicions about an infection they should not hesitate to get it checked. It may not just be a super bad flu or a small infected wound. In one day her husband’s situation went into a life and death matter. Scary stuff.

On a side note, within this same short period of time other friends of ours – a family - all had STAPH infections too. Father, mother, son & daughter. They all needed treatment, including antibiotics. It was serious too – they were even told to be quarantined for awhile. (voluntary I think) But the doctor said the father’s STAPH was the worst he had ever seen in his practice. Red mark the size of an apple with the actual infection the size of a large egg. He just lay in the bed in a fetal position moaning in pain – it was heartbreaking. Finally they all came through it and all fine now.

It’s been very sad to hear of the recent CNN news stories that did not have such good endings – and my heart and prayers go out to those that have lost loved ones to STAPH infections. It is so heartbreaking. It must be so very painful for them to talk about it, but we thank them for by doing so they are helping others to know what to look for and it might save a life. I’m sorry for their painful losses.

Thank you again Dr. Gupta for addressing this serious concern. Please take care & stay safe.

In appreciation, G.T.
My son and five other friends and relatives have recently had CA-MRSA. My son's strain was resistant to all antibiotics.
I've emailed the CDC asking why it's not a reportable condition. Not enough cases to be concerned with, was their answer.
I wrote the Oprah show about two years ago, hoping she'd enlighten the public. No response.
If there's something I can do to make the public aware - I'd be on it.
Thanks for reporting on this and please continue.
Well, part of the problem lies with you doctors. Can I give an example of stupid antibiotic use? I had a toothache--a bad toothache. It needed out, and the arrangement had already been made when my gums became swollen and the pain was just unbearable. An antibiotic, just to make sure I didn't drop dead from some infection? Not likely--and here's what's both funny and sad. They (the clinic) offered me all sorts of Vicodan and crap, but the dentist who two weeks later pulled the tooth out said he wouldn't have done it with an infection. It had took a $350 bill from the ER for just 4 pills to get antibiotics, and the ER doctors were looking at me like I was some kind of antibiotic addict. For Crimmie's sake--I hadn't been on antibiotics for over 8 years.

Compare that experience to this story: a lady I know, who's a known drug addict, hit herself on her arm because she knew the moment she showed the docs her Medicaid card, she was in the "pill of the month club". You know--ask and ye shall recieve. She got ANTIBIOTICS for a BRUISE, Dr. Gupta.

Thank God for doctors like you, who search for the truth. This MRSA scares me, it really does. And you're right--what do we do?? I live in a homeless-type shelter. In my time, I've seen 300 women go thru. Used to be I never got sick. Now I get exposed to germs on people that are probably drug resistant. Right now, I have an earache, a black eye (from a sinus infection). What do I do? So very scary.
The dubious logic of some "medical professionals" will never cease to amaze me. If there is and I quote: "no question that antibiotic resistance develops as a result of our increased and sometimes inappropriate use of antibiotics" does it not stand to reason that we should decrease the use of and STOP the inappropriate use of antibiotics? Certainly that should be considered before creating "new and improved" antibiotics to start the whole cycle over again. Makes you wonder are these "medical professionals" being paid off by the pharmaceutical companies...or maybe they just own stock in them.
regarding MRSA infection, has anyone thought about the use of artificial finger nails used by many of us women - to be one of the culpits for MRSA....I imagine many germs are harbored under those artificial finger nails....and many women in hospitals wear artificial nails, where the MRSA disease was first noticed...???
about 8 years ago i deveopled this type of staph infection in costa rica. i cured myself with a medicinal plant. my friend also had the same infection and was treated with antibiotics. she had recurrent infections for the next sevreral years and was treated with more anibiotics. my infection cleared quickly and never returned. sounds amazing, but it is true.

I am bothered by the news reporters calling this bacteria a bug. Why not call it what it is?
My father had surgery in 2003 and developed MRSA in the wound. He died not from the surgery, but from the MRSA. It seems this may become the modern day plague.
What is difference between MRSA and MRSA Cellulitis. My husband who is 58 has MRSA and I have the other and I am 57.
MRSA while a concern is one of many resistant bacteria you will encounter as time goes on. Proper use of antibiotics, covering wounds, cleaning your environment, and hand hygiene reduce your risk. Be sure your healthcare provider is washing their hands!
MRSA is probably the most painful thing I've ever experienced in my life. People _need_ to start paying attention to better hygiene and stop the abuse of antibiotics. We're all digging ourselves a hole if we don't.
Do you think the schools should own up to how filthy they are and clean up their act?
That's a hard one to answer. In the past I used to get bronchitis every year, and the last 5 years it's turned to sinus infections every year after a cold. Either way, it's phlem city. In the past 5 or 6 years, it seems as if I have to go through many channels just to get an appointment...they think it's a virus and I get so FRUSTRATED!

I see both sides here, and there's NO easy answer.

I say, get the president involved with funding for education and new development programs for new antibiotics.
I'm glad for all the recent public awareness of MRSA. My mother had back surgery on April 10, 2007, and ended up being institutionalized for the most of the next three months during which she fought for her life against MRSA. She underwent emergency follow-up surgery and was placed on long-term vancomycin IV therapy, but in the end everything started going wrong. She was finally allowed to go home with home hospice on the evening of July 2, 2007. The doctor wasn't even sure she'd survive the night, but she continued to fight for nine days finally dying on the evening of July 11, 2007. She wanted to live and fought bravely for three months, but MRSA and its complications were too much for her. We need cleaner medical facilities with medical staff paying closer attention to patients keeping a close eye out for infections. The rehab center thought she simply had a urinary tract infection until it was too late. They finally rushed her back to the hospital only to find that she had a full-blown major MRSA infection of the spine necessitating emergency surgery. But beyond cleaner medical facilities and medical staff paying closer attention to patients, we need new antibiotics to fight these antibiotic resistent infections. We need patients to stop demanding antibiotics for viruses against which antibiotics have no effect, and doctors to stop over-prescribing antibiotics especially when they aren't needed and won't help. My mother's original surgery went well and she was expected to make a full recovery and have a much improved level of health; however, because of MRSA she died after a heroic three-month fight.
Dear Dr.Sanjay

Thank you so much for covering this story. You are right,it is starting to happen already. I felt with fear at this problem. It's a shocking subject!!
The development of antibiotics for resistant bacteria is delaying world-wide because of economic,technological and legal reasons.
For the measures of resistance misusing and abusing of antibiotics are important.
Further more, while resistance is rapidly spreading, development of new antibiotics for resistant bacteria treatment take too many years. Therefore we can't treat the infected patients.
In my opinion that especially in case of light cold catchers, they should refrain from using of antibiotics and we should provide them the guide-lines of antibiotics use.
Also for the solutions of resistance and bacteria infection in hospitals the governmental policy is important.
So individuals hospitals and the government should realized that
infectious in hospitals and antibiotics resistance are "the modern version of infectious disease" and the related authorities have to seek the infection in hospitals. To reduce these infections we have to prepare the institutional measures.

Thanks again for sharing this problem with us. Take care :-)
Would it not be prudent,in light of recent news reports at schools that are showing MRSA reaching epidemic porportions,for the placement of hand sanitizers at locations all around public locations?
People need to realize that this is a major problem and it needs to be addressed immediately.
We have had a close call with MRSA in our family and it was indeed frightning.Our youngest son required emergency surgery and a 30 day IV treatment of antibiotics to save his leg and life.
Wash your hands & use sanitizers frequently.
One must wonder if we are blessed with more and more bacteria as time goes by. Are we helping it to multiply and spread? Could something as simple as leaving pet dropping around that run off into lakes and oceans be affecting us? Most people are using tons of chemicals to kill bacteria in their houses. Could this be making what is remaining even stronger and more problematic? What exactly can the public do besides wash ones own hands? There must be a multitude of answers, but are we actually taking any action?
When you speak about necrotizing fasciitis (the so called "flesh-eating bug"), its overwhelmingly more likely to be from a Group A Streptococcus infection rather than Staph. When speaking about Staphylococcal soft tissue infections, saying you or someone you know has a Staph infection does not imply that its due to Methicillin-Resistant Staph. Lastly, even if it is MRSA, we can still many times treat MRSA tissue infections with medications that aren't as heavy-duty as Vancomycin; doxycycline, and clindamycin being two of the best the readers may be familiar with.
MRSA is indeed a serious problem, but I worry this blog may have added to the mythology surrounding it rather than clarifying them.
I have recently within the last couple years had a run in with MRSA. I am hearing more and more about new cases in new areas. It is very frightening because it is very very tough to get rid of and I can't imagine dealing with another super infection like I experienced. I am very cautious and wash my hands regularly, that is very important. I just really wanted to stress the severity of this bacteria. It can be fatal. It got into my fiance's lymph nodes in his groin, and had to get an extensive treatment with anti-biotics several times and we also had to treat our bodies with hospital grade anti-septic type products along with an nasal anti bacterial oinment... thank God it worked! Please do pay attention to the warning signs, such as wounds that would heal.. also my infection took the form of "pimple like blisters" that were very purulent or pus filled.
Wash you hands often and try to limit contact with other's skin.
Anonymous raised the question of long nails as a source of MRSA. She is quite correct.

During 30+ years spent in medical micro labs and working with hospital infection control programs I have seen many nosocomial infections traced directly to long nails, painted nails, and artificial nails. No hospital or health care facility should allow any employee or volunteer to wear painted, long, or artificial nails. They are impossible to wash properly and essentially negate the positive effects of hand washing.

Over the years, pop culture and social changes have modified the uniform and dress codes for health care workers. Many of them are now walking vectors for multiple organisms due to jewelry, long unwashed hair, long nails, and other items of apparel.

If you have a family member in hospital, do not allow any employee or volunteer with long nails to touch your family member. This is particularly relevant to staff working with IV's, administering medication, changing dressings, catherers etc.

Your vigilance may save your family member or yourself from a nosocomial infection. If necessary, contact the nursing supervisors, the infection control coordinator, and the medical staff. No one has the right to wear items of apparel or decoration that harbor infection. Political correctness can kill you today.
As a student in Howard County Maryland, there have been rumors about several cases of MSRA spreading in the local high schools. However, the public school system has done nothing to prevent the spread of this “superbug.” The only preventative method the school system has done in order to stop the spread of MSRA is send out a letter of warning. What are some of the symptoms of MSRA, showing that the MSRA bacteria strain is in the early stages of infection or the later stages of infection? Also if MSRA is such a deadly and horrible bacteria strain, then why is not present on the news? Similar to antibiotic resistant tuberculosis, why has MSRA not been on the news? The media can alert people to the dangerous bacteria and teach people how to prevent the spread of MSRA and treat MSRA.
Dr. Gupta, this topic requires much more attention, and I implore you to publish an in-depth report exploring questions such as, (1) how has the rampant use of anti-bacterial soaps and sanitizers, Lysol-type disinfectants and other bacterial-killing cleaning products contributed to our resistance to antibiotics? (2) How do we protect ourselves and our families from MRSA? (3) How can you naturally increase your immunity? (4) Are there any alternative medicine treatments for MRSA? (5) Are ANY pharmaceutical companies in R&D with any new antibiotics? These questions need answering through a legitimate, trusted and popular venue like yours. Go Blue.
I was a dancer at a topless club in Austin Texas and contracted MRSA several times. One girl brought it to work and over eleven girls besides myself caught it. I had it almost ten times in a two year period after that. The club denied there was a problem and refused to clean everything at once (stage, chairs, locker room, bathroom etc.) My children, boyfriends, and friends never got it so I had to be getting re-infected at work. If I changed clubs I would be fine but within a month of returning to work at that club I would get it. I CALLED THE CDC IN AUSTIN.... They did not give a rats a**. They said since it was not a disease there was nothing they could do. Wonder if they care now that it is making national news how bad this stuff is?
Not only do rampant use of anti-bacterial soaps and sanitizers contribute to antibiotic resistance, there's some pretty strong evidence that kids who grow up in super-clean environments are far more likely to develop allergies and/or asthma, both of which can be deadly and both of which are more common than MRSA. Let's not go crazy with the anti-bacterials.
Staph infections and MRSA in the athletics world can be easily controlled by sanitizing the sports gear.

SaniGear employs a patented ozone system that kills 97% of the bacteria, mold and fungi that cause foul odor, skin irritation, rashes, warts, staph infections and MRSA. The process is totally dry and take only 15 minutes per cycle.

Twenty two of the thirty National Hockey League teams use this system in their locker rooms.
USA Hockey has endorsed the system.
The National Footbal League has also endorsed this process.

Staph infections and MRSA can be controlled if the gear is first sanitized before loaned out to students.

Joseph Alfano
Pharmaceutical companies can not and will not develop new drugs, to treat MRSA or anything else, in the current, litigious climate that doe not reward them for doing so. What is their incentive to develop new drugs when all that awaits them is multimillion dollar law suits? And why should doctors prescribe new, and unproven, drugs when they live in fear of an unknown side effect and a subsequent flurry of lawsuits? You want medical progress? First we need sensible tort reform.
I find CNN's coverage of the MRSA cases incomplete. The report covers most of the aspects of contracting and prevention of the disease. Sanitizing efforts have mainly been reported indoors, but has left out any efforts in outdoor playgrounds, athletic equipment used by various team sports, bleachers, and especially artificial fields which are being installed at most schools. These fields offer the most dangerous aspect of them all. Blood, spit, sweat all are the ingredients of transmission on an absorbant surface. Then we send the teams out on them with full contact. The wound on a artificial field is very similar to a rug burn. This puts the students at risk. Most stories of MRSA are atheletes. Is the school maintaining there fields and equipment with sanitizers?
Why are the Dr telling me this is not spread that easy? My son got it from somewhere. why all these break outs. Its not just in sports its everywhere. My son dosent play sports dosent live in a crowded place. We are very clean people. He showers daily. I think theres a new strain out there that the Dr dont know about because Im seeing alot of people w/this that are not contracting this in the way the Dr say you contract this. And to me it looks like it is alot more contagious then what the Dr think the problem is by time they figure it out so many lives will be taken. I think Dr should be having cultures done as soon as they suspect mrsa not treating it before they know. I think people w/mrsa should be kept out of school until they figure out whats going on because again I think its way more contagious than you think Please somebody do something before more lives are lost. These are our loved ones stop taking this so litley
I have noticed that in Florida schools they only use alcohol base waterless hand washing; I think that is totally wrong; I would like to see cnn do a recommending story or some sort of healthe story encouraging schools here to provide an area especially in lunch room areas to let students wash hand thoroughly before eating. Also restrooms are not being stock with soap and hand drying supplies; so maybe if you can get the word out about this we can stop some of this staph germ spread. I own a janitorial company and tend to notice details on cleanliness; please take this for action; cnn carries a lotta weight on what society reacts on; this would be a very appreciated thing for you to pass on to Dr. Gupta.
Another MRSA death AND more quotes from doctors saying this is preventable - HELLO!. Is there anyone actually telling us how to prevent these.
******I forgot to mention in my previous comment that I also have not been hospitalized for ANY reason in at least the last 12 years- I am 25 years old.*****
As we keep getting new stories we keep getting the 'this is preventable' story.
Every single 1 of my infections showed up like spider bites. After the 1st one - guess what I did - FUMIGATED!!!
With the 1st infection, I told the Dr. I thought it was a spider bite because of my symptoms and what the area looked like. They prescribed my medicine for a spider bite.
They took a culture though, just to make sure. Sure enough they called me 2 days later and changed my prescription.
Actually due to my moms persistence I had called and asked if the culture showed it was a spider bite and I was told yes.
But the new rx was the same as the subsequent rx's for the staph.
As in using a antibacterial body wash? Been there done that.
As in vitamins? Tried that.
This is an old germ that has revamped it's venom. The public needs to know HOW to prevent this travesty since it's so "preventable".
I have a question and maybe someone can answer me. For 3 years now going on almost 5 years I have multiple (abcesss)they come and go as they please and its located under my arm. I am very scared because i have tried all types of antibiotics and i am in a point of giving up. so my question is is it possible it is related to the MRSA IF SO HOW COME IT IS LASTING THIS LONG AND WHAT CAN I DO PLEASE HELP
I keep hearing your reports about the antibiotic resistant, killer staph infection. But you keep overlooking the root cause of the bacterium... HIV. People with HIV come down with one infection after another, that require large doses of antibiotics to cure. The more antibiotics are prescribed, the more likely bacteria will become antibiotic resistant, and the less effective the antibiotic becomes.

France has a new antibiotic. But they're not willing to share it with us, because they know we'll prescribe it to all our HIV patients.

The doctors and hospitals in our country are bound by laws and lawsuits to treat every HIV patient as aggressively as necessary to keep them alive. But the result is antibiotic resistant germs, which will become an ever increasing problem.

For me, you can't talk about killer bacteria without also talking about how our treatment for HIV causes them.
I find myself wondering if... all the over use of antibiotics, over the counter medicines and abundance of sanitizers we use in this era have caused this superbug to manifest ... Have we caused ourselves an immunity to the drugs we need by over use?
Dr. Gupta...I've been watching you on CNN for years - keep up the good work! I am a nurse and work in a family practice office. Last year we saw many MRSA infections in people aging from toddler age to retirement age. MY CONCERN begins at the initial patient/physician encounter! Some physicians hurry through an exam and recognize a "boil" or "cyst" and treat with an antibiotic...But Never Do A Culture, so they never find out if that was the proper antibiotic and then the patient ends up back in the office or hospital with repeat exams until someone finally does the right thing and orders a Culture and Sensitivity! The next thing I see that goes wrong is that this infection is not reported to our local health departments whom are the prime candidates for educating the public and the schools...why aren't they notified? I feel that the physician doesn't want to "make it a big deal" and "freak-out" the patient or parents of the patient...truly, these are comments that I have heard from providers. I feel education should be given to providers...TREAT THIS VIGOROUSLY WITH NO TIME WASTED! Please get this message to the physicians and nurse practitioners. Thank You.
The spread of MRSA in the sports and recreation community can be effectively controlled. Unfortunately due to budget constraints and old ways of thinking, this is not being done for the majority of athletes. Many reports tout the not sharing towels or razor blades, but fail to mention the protective equipment (even if the equipment is not shared). There are many locations in North America using the Esporta Wash System ( effectively cleans and disinfects sports and recreation protective equipment. Unlike ozone, which sprays the surface, the Esporta system is a wet wash process that forces detergents and disinfectants deep into the equipment ridding it of 99.9997 percent (lab tested)of the bacteria, including MRSA. This process costs a fraction of the cost of new equipment. Thankfully many colleges, high schools, and professional teams are awakening to the need to get this done, but many are not....simply thinking by not doing anything, it's "part of the game". For those of you responsible to make these decisions for your school or team I would suggest you do it sooner rather than later, as the liability for doing nothing will be much larger once a kid on your team dies.

Thank you for finally highlighting this topic and giving it the attention it needs. We've been saying these things for the last four years - maybe people will finally listen and demand their team does something before their kid is the next tragedy.
Probally an after effect from amerian food biologists messing with Genetically modified organisms, or Nanotechnology cause one thing is for sure, you mess with the unknown and wonder why people want organic foods.
Are there any free tests in New York city for MRSA?

I lost my insurance and a doctor visit would be too costly.

Thank you!
I would like for our school children to take a look at this website from a school far away from us and what they are doing to their community for Autistic children. Please comment in their Voice section too. I think what they are doing is commendable and hopefully our schools could do similar. Give a voice to those who cant. Thank you.
Although not related to MSRA, uterine fibroids in black women are not being addressed as fully as it can be. The only 'treatments' available will either leave a repetition of the disorder or a destruction of the woman's uterus. I believe if the white woman had this problem on a wide scale basis, the cures would have been more efficient and tend to preserve her uterus in order to preserve the white race.
I would really like Dr. Sanjay to take a look into this area.

Thank You.

I've come to this page to make a comment on MRSA, instead, I like to second the notion of Anonymous on fibroids.

I once lost over 50% of my blood having only a 3.7 HEMO reading on the day I was transfused.

Seven or Eight Bloody years it took me to be diagnosed, even though I had seen Doctor after Doctor asking the same questions, "Could I possibly have cancer or Fibroids?" They'd give me a look, then tell me I was fine, just under a lot of stress. "Noooo! You think?", would be the one I'd flash back at them.

Anyway, Thank God for Dr. Szlacther! She saved my life. She listens, and she has very good eyes. I did not look well at all. I went to her on my last leg, literally! I could barely walk or breathe. The same symptoms I mentioned to all the other doctors, I told her. She told me what she thought was going on, and the same day, we found that it was so. The next day, I received blood; and two Lupron injections in the weeks that followed, thus I am still here to tell you about it today.

However, the saga continues. Being uninsured, I can't afford to have them removed. And quite honestly, I don't know if I would, if I could. With all due respect to you, Dr. Gupta and save, Dr. Szlacther, but I don't really trust Doctors. But I am always open to learning. So, please, could you give us an in depth report on these monsters called, FIBROID TUMORS?

Thanks, NY
I agree that MRSA is a threat to our community that the public health officials are not addressing adequately. If everyone just educated themselves (we all have to be our own doctors anyway in most every situation these days), I believe we can demand that doctors perform a culture and tell them to check for MRSA if we end up in the emergency room. Unfortunately, many sick people do not have the benefit of being self-educated on this topic. Another unfortunate reality is that most people in the sports community are ignorant or just turn their backs on the reality of staph and MRSA. Even if they might realize that showering, washing hands and not sharing towels are all good preventive measures, they totally ignore the fact that uniforms and protective equipment harbor dangerous bacteria that causes MRSA. They think it's 'cool' to smell bad - especially hockey players. I agree with the Esporta and ozone comments - we need to clean our sports equipment, too! That stuff is disgusting and our children put that gear on again and again! But until some poor child dies of MRSA b/c a school or association did not clean the equipment, and - as usual in our litigious society - someone SUES, our society will not really take any precautions against this disease. It's all about liability. That's when things will change, preventive programs will be instituted, and schools will take care of their students.
MRSA is a very serious issue within the sports community here in Southern California. In fact, there's a company called "Super Clean" that cleans all types of sports equipment. I know b/c I suffered from a nasty MRSA infection last year and now get my equipment cleaned by Super Clean on a regular basis. I haven't had a MRSA infection since.
There is ongoing research to decontaminate athletic equipment from MRSA as evidenced by a professor of biology at Middle Tennessee State University, Dr Anthony Newsome. He indicated that research started in 2005 shows that MRSA and other virusus can be eliminated by using a chlorine dioxide technology developed by ICA Tri Nova in Newnan, GA.
HI, My toddler is 20 months old, and has had MRSA for 3 months now- we tried all kinds of meds, bactrim, cefelex, and a few others, we have had the wounds irrigated, and drained repeatedly. still he is not better. He is suffering from the side effects from the meds... any ideas? are there any new meds?
Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN's chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends -- info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.
CNN Comment Policy: CNN encourages you to add a comment to this discussion. You may not post any unlawful, threatening, libelous, defamatory, obscene, pornographic or other material that would violate the law. Please note that CNN makes reasonable efforts to review all comments prior to posting and CNN may edit comments for clarity or to keep out questionable or off-topic material. All comments should be relevant to the post and remain respectful of other authors and commenters. By submitting your comment, you hereby give CNN the right, but not the obligation, to post, air, edit, exhibit, telecast, cablecast, webcast, re-use, publish, reproduce, use, license, print, distribute or otherwise use your comment(s) and accompanying personal identifying information via all forms of media now known or hereafter devised, worldwide, in perpetuity. CNN Privacy Statement.