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Thursday, October 19, 2006

 

DOWNTOWN: Staph Spread By Shared Surfaces

Hat tip to LA Observed for pointing out an alarming story in LA Weekly about the spread of methicillin-resistant staph infections in downtown Los Angeles. According to the story:
The bacterium that transmits staph can be passed through touch, shared surfaces and personal items like razors or towels. It can stay on clothes or bedding for five days. The infection often is dismissed as a large pimple, ingrown hair or a spider bite, but it comes on quickly and is extremely painful. In some cases, it looks more like a rash or cellulitis. Most cases are easily treatable with antibiotics; in rare instances, staph can cause blood, bone and lung infections.
Many of the victims are homeless people who lack access to proper hygeine. The infection has also allegedly been spread to people who interact with the homeless population, including firefighters and police officers. Other victims may have had the infection spread to them by family members who work downtown.

— TJ Sullivan in LA
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