Friday, February 29, 2008
Medical Reports: MRSA Superbug
Dangerous bacteria can lurk in places you least expect. In today's Healthcast, Seven's Christine Cruz tells us why one superbug is hard to treat, but easy to prevent.
WSVN -- It could be hiding here, here or even here. MRSA, the dangerous antibiotic-resistant form of staph can live almost anywhere. MRSA hit too close to home for Maureen Daly when it infected her mother.
Maureen Daly, Lost Mother to MRSA: "She was the most amazing woman. She was trapped in her body, and the infection, the MRSA, just kept ravaging and ravaging her system."
MRSA spreads by skin and clothing contact and thrives in crowded quarters. Athletic facilities are notorious for harboring the bacteria.
Maureen Daly: "It grew out to here, and there were little bumps all around. There's still little scars there."
Now, a breakthrough preventative technology called the Sports Antimicrobial System is protecting athletes. It can be sprayed on any surface and instantly bonds to the bacteria, killing them and stopping growth for up to three years.
Craig Andrews, Sports Coatings: "That young kid out there running around that field to the professional athlete can feel pretty safe."
Hospitals can also be a danger zone, so it's important to detect the bug quickly to protect other patients. A new test called the Gene X-pert looks at the bug's DNA. It can diagnose MRSA in just hours instead of days.
Craig Andrews: "Within 72 minutes now, we can diagnose the presence of MRSA."
Another place MRSA can hide? Your dog's nose.
Craig Andrews: "They're just colonizing it. They're carrying it, and then that can be a source to come right back to us."
Some easy ways to prevent catching the bug? Make sure you wash your hands often, for 20 seconds with antibacterial soap. Clean surfaces regularly. Don't share towels or other personal items, and don't ignore signs of infections.
Christine Cruz: "Doctors say it's important to recognize changes on your skin. MRSA often starts as a small, red pimple-like bump, but it can quickly turn into a deep and painful abscess that requires surgery."
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