Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Superbug in Your Supermarket

The Superbug in Your Supermarket
A potentially deadly new strain of anti-biotic-resistant microbes may be widespread in our food supply. Protect your loved ones with Prevention's Special Report.
By Stephanie Woodard
Link to full article

About 2 years ago, dozens of workers at a large chicken hatchery in Arkansas began experiencing mysterious skin rashes, with painful lumps scattered over their hands, arms, and legs. "They hurt real bad," says Joyce Long, 48, a 32-year veteran of the hatchery, where until recently, workers handled eggs and chicks with bare hands. "When we went and got cultured, doctors told us we had a superbug." Its name, she learned, was MRSA, or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. This form of staph bacteria developed a mutation that resists antibiotics (including methicillin), making it hard to treat, even lethal. According to the CDC, certain types of MRSA infections kill 18,000 Americans a year--more than die from AIDS.

Soon coworkers at the nearby processing plant, where hundreds of thousands of chicken carcasses are prepped daily for sale, began finding the lumps.

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