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Drug-resistant ‘flesh-eating’ MRSA bacteria hits MSM in san francisco and boston

January 15, 2008
drug-resistant ‘flesh-eating’ MRSA bacteria hits MSM in san francisco and boston
By News Editor
A new, highly drug-resistant strain of the “flesh-eating” MRSA bacteria – which is known to thrive mainly in hospitals – is now being spread among gay men in San Francisco and Boston, researchers reported on Monday.
Sexually active gay men in San Francisco were 13 times as likely to contract methicillin- resistant staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, than their heterosexual counterparts, said researchers at the University of California at San Francisco.

Magnified image of a cluster of drug-resistant staphylococcus aureus bacteria. To dilute the concentration of bacteria, researchers suggest taking a shower after sexual contact and the use of regular soap.

Based on a review of over 300 patients’ medical records from nine hospitals in San Francisco and two outpatient clinics in San Francisco and Boston, and through chemical analyses, it is also found that the bacteria is spreading among the gay communities of San Francisco and Boston.

Researchers have found that the new strain of bacteria called USA300 is growing resistant – or unresponsive – to three or even four classes of widely used antibiotics.

The study – published online in the Annals of Internal Medicine – warned that the new strain which seems to have “spread rapidly” in gay populations in San Francisco and Boston, “has the potential for rapid, nationwide dissemination” among gay men.

The bacteria, which typically produces boils that can grow to the size of tennis balls, can lead to sepsis (blood poisoning) or a deadly flesh eating form of pneumonia that devours the lungs in severe cases.

Researchers estimate that about 30 percent of all people carry ordinary staph chronically and most of those who do carry it in their noses or may manifests as an abscess or cellulitis in the buttocks, genitals and anal area.

Staph infections often look like raised red dots on the skin. Left untreated, the areas can swell and fill with pus.

“Once this reaches the general population, it will be truly unstoppable,” said Binh Diep, a researcher at the University of California, San Francisco who led the study. “That’s why we’re trying to spread the message of prevention.”

And prevention could just be as simple as soap and water.

“Taking a shower after sexual contact may minimise contamination,” says Dr Chip Chambers, co-author of the study and director of infectious diseases at San Francisco General.

“Ordinary soap will do. It dilutes the concentration of bacteria. You don’t need antibacterial soap.”

Previously, MRSA infections have been documented in sports teams, prison populations, gym-goers and the community at large.

In December last year, a infectious disease expert in Hong Kong warned that visiting massage parlours or having facials may increase one’s chances of contracting MRSA.

Even though the Department of Health conceded that there was insufficient scientific evidence to show a link between infections and massage parlours, the warning came after a finding that 10 percent of patients infected with MRSA in 2007 had visited massage parlours within 12 months of the onset of symptoms.

According to the health department, the number of reported community- associated cases jumped from 32 in 2006 to 175 in 2007, with two deaths.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that in 2005 some 94,000 people in the US became infected with MRSA, of which some 19,000 succumbed to it.

Related Sites
Emergence of Multidrug-Resistant, Community-Associated, Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Clone USA300 in Men Who Have Sex with Men

January 15, 2008 - Posted by | Blogroll, Gay General, Gay Issue & Rights-Overseas


  1. You will notice that Fresno, CA is the only city within the entire nation to react to the mrsa panic by increasing medical benefits for various departments, now working on ways to increase benefits for ALL city employees. They have a secret – spreading of deadly bacteria including pathogens from mrsa, behind felony altering of the city sewer and water systems, verified by witnesses and their own records. KNOWINGLY leaving a trail of illness, asthma, infections, amputation, death – refusing to even test the soil, as the risk analyst says, “Not my job.” But lying about the cause of DELIBERATE and INTENTIONAL exposure to infectious, disease-carrying raw sewage is?!? Followed by altered records to cover up the evidence?
    If anyone has contracted mrsa in Fresno, CA, there is enough evidence of fraud, blatant negligence and cover-up, which will surely result in massive lawsuits.

    Comment by Marla | April 7, 2008 | Reply

  2. Thanks Marla, very informative site:

    Comment by MoniQue | December 31, 2008 | Reply

  3. This is quite a up-to-date info. I think I’ll share it on Delicious.

    Comment by How to Get Six Pack Fast | April 15, 2009 | Reply

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