The Deadly Bacteria Lurking in These Common Places

MRSA, or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus cases are documented in large numbers each year. This deadly bacteria can work its way into just about everywhere and everything. What was once thought of as something spread in dirty locker rooms, is now being found in many other common places, some of which we may not even realize are dirty in the first place.

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Americans endure more than 80,000 infections from methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus a year, a statistic that costs the U.S. healthcare system more than $4 billion. While hospitals are the most equipped at being able to properly handle preventing it, fixing the spread of MRSA in our homes and our environment is falling to us; knowing the symptoms and how to handle it, and even what to watch out for can save lives.

One major factor fueling MRSA’s spread involves the standard practice of feeding antibiotics animals to produce standard supermarket meat. The more meat that we as consumers ingest that has even the tiny instance of chemicals, pesticides and other harmful ingredients, the more likely the chance of a spread of MRSA itself. However, the rules and regulations are just not as strict on food production in this department quite yet, which is why MRSA outbreaks occur. So until that happens, get familiar with some of these weird places that MRSA is known to lurk.

As safe as they have been touted to be, that healthy label is rapidly deteriorating from E-cigarettes. E-cigarette threats now officially include MRSA infections, too. Researchers at the University of the VA San Diego Healthcare System and the University of California–San Diego recently discovered that e-cigarettes appear to fuel potentially life-threatening drug-resistant pathogens. Those that smoke them regularly have been shown to harbor the MRSA bacteria in their throats, so coming into contact with anyone who has it is the quickest way for this bacteria to spread.

E-cigarette vapor increases the virulence of MRSA while compromising human cells’ ability to fight off the hard-to-kill germs. MRSA prefers to colonize in the upper throat behind the nose, an area that’s continuously exposed to the vapors. So you may want to reconsider that “healthy” alternative to smoking; perhaps just quit all together.

Airplanes are filled with germs, and being on one for a long duration is certainly one of the easiest ways to ingest bacteria. However, the air on the plane isn’t what harbors MRSA, it’s the seats, more specifically, the armrests.

Studies carried out at Auburn University found that nasty germs including MRSA were able to survive on airplane surfaces like armrests, plastic tray tables, and seat pockets for days at a time. Washing your hands with soap as often as possible, especially before and after eating on a plane, as well as covering your mouth when sneezing or coughing, can help you ward off MRSA on that long flight.

In 2011, researchers found that half of U.S. supermarket meat sampled contained staph bacteria, including that stubborn, hard to kill MRSA. The study appeared in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases. Turkey products were the most likely to harbor staph bacteria, followed by pork and chicken products. Choosing an organic meat will increase the chances of eating a MRSA free meal. With no pesticides or chemicals used in their production, the odds are much more in your favor.

 

Consult your primary care physician or chiropractor for any medical related advice.

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Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Kārlis Dambrāns

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