Web Zap*Germs Archive

November 22, 2008

Vaccines to Fight Rotavirus Diarrhea May Be Approved For Global Use

Vaccines against rotavirus, the main
cause of severe diarrhea in preschoolers, may win recommendation
for global use by the World Health Organization (WHO). About 527,000 young children die from rotavirus-induced
diarrhea annually, 85 percent of them in lower-income countries
of Africa and Asia, WHO says.(h/t

August 25, 2006

Community-acquired MRSA Now Widespread

In the past couple of years, CA-MRSA has fully infiltrated itself into the US community, which I remarked on back in April 2005. As a new MSNBC article states, MRSA skin infections are often mistaken for spider bites, but don't clear up and rapidly get worse.
Bug bites are common in summer but a new super bug sweeping San Diego could have potentially fatal effects. Local hospital emergency rooms are being jammed by patients who've been bitten by a strain of bacteria resistant to antibiotics.

Although the bites look they come from spiders, officials say they're much more harmful. Even worse: They're spreading so fast that the local emergency rooms are reporting at least one new infection per day.
If left untreated, MRSA can disfigure and sometimes be fatal. The current strain in San Diego originated locally and is spreading throughout the community at a very high rate.

Although the strain is resistant to most antibiotics, [Scripps Mercy hospital epidemiologist Frank] Myers says some still do work but warns if you see a strange bite that doesn't seem to be healing to see a doctor right away.

"Ask [the doctor to] do a culture on it and then follow completely the guidelines for antibiotic use.

MRSA used to be spread a lot in locker rooms, especially among football players and wrestling teams. Now, Myers said babies are getting through a diaper rash and other family members are spreading it just by casual touch.
Read my post on practical tips for treating early-stage MRSA infections for more info.

July 08, 2006

Flesh-Eating Bacteria Attack Baltimore Man

By the time [Richard] Herskovitz got to the emergency room at Carroll Hospital Center [one day after dropping a computer on his foot], the swelling had moved up to his knee and his leg had turned dark. The former body builder still didn't know what was wrong until an orthopedic surgeon diagnosed it.

Herskovitz said he still doesn't know the doctor's name, but he saved his life.

'Saw my leg, knew what I had, and took me right down to the ER, and started with the first of many surgeries,' Herskovitz said. Hamilton reported Herskovitz was sent to Shock Trauma in Baltimore -- the referral hospital for all flesh-eating bacteria cases on the East Coast.

Dr. Sharon Henry is Herskovitz's surgeon. She said Shock Trauma treats about 150 flesh-eating bacteria cases a year and surgery is the only way to stay ahead of it.

"It's crucial to get to surgery as rapidly as possible,' Henry said."
Read the rest.

May 31, 2006

Alien Microbes In Crimson Rain?

Apparently "50 tons of red gunk...rained on India in 2001. It's possible that the stuff contains critters from outer space," sez Boing Boing.

May 14, 2006

Morgellons Disease: Painful Infection Baffles Doctors

Like something out of "Aliens," excruciatingly painful skin lesions extrude a mysterious, fibrous material -- in different colors. One sufferer finally took his life to end the agony. And some doctors think people are making it all up.

Welcome to the bizarre infection called Morgellons Disease, which has afflicted over 100 people in south Texas and other southern states. Antibiotics eventually help cure the lesions, but no bacteria, virus or fungus has been identified with the affliction. And besides the physical suffering, Morgellons patients have problems with their nervous systems: mood disorders, ADD/ADHD, or memory problems.

Read more at the Morgellons Research Foundation.

(HT: Drudge)