Web Zap*Germs Archive

May 07, 2005

Like the Rest of Us: Celebrities Getting Superbug Infections

It will be interesting to see what happens now -- now that celebrities are getting antibiotic-resistant infections like everyone else. Unfortunately, it often takes a famous person's suffering to focus the media's blinding light on a medical problem (think Christopher Reeve and paralysis, Michael J. Fox and Parkinson's or Ronald Reagan and Alzheimer's).

Now that US baseball star Barry Bonds has developed a potentially career-ending bacterial infection (MRSA? they're not saying), and UK pop singer Edwyn Collins has acquired MRSA following brain surgery, it won't be long till the TV news magazines cover these stories -- not from the medical viewpoint, but the celebrity viewpoint. As we know, that's where the public's attention is focused. It might not be long before anyone visiting an ER or ICU will ask about their infection rates, which they will have discovered from the pop media.

Update 19 May 2005: It's now been made public that Bonds is indeed fighting a staph infection, and that he is now off an intravenous antibiotic regimen but still on antibiotics. Read this post for commentary on the likely impact of Bonds's steroid use on this infection.

Also, regarding stubborn staph infections, Giant-turned-Oriole slugger Sammy Sosa has been on the disabled list due to a foot abcess and staph infection. The AP ran a brief but informative article on the growing incidence of such infections outside the hospital environment.


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