New Bacteria Strain Spreading Rapidly Among Gay Men

A new, drug-resistant strain of the “flesh-eating” MRSA bacteria is spreading quickly among gay men in Boston and San Francisco and soon could pose a wider threat. In a study published Monday by the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, researchers wrote that the MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) bacteria is spread easily through anal intercourse as well as by skin-to-skin contact and touching contaminated surfaces.

BY admin

January 16 2008 1:00 AM ET

A new,
drug-resistant strain of the “flesh-eating”
MRSA bacteria is spreading quickly among gay men in
Boston and San Francisco and soon could pose a wider
threat, according to an article in The New York
Times
.

In a study
published Monday by the journal Annals of Internal
Medicine,
researchers wrote that the MRSA
(methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus
aureus) bacteria is spread easily through anal
intercourse as well as by skin-to-skin contact and
touching contaminated surfaces. Unless laboratories
can identify the strain and doctors prescribe appropriate
antibiotics, the infection, researchers wrote, “has
the potential for rapid nationwide
dissemination” among gay men.

Another part of
the study found that gay men in San Francisco were about
13 times more likely than other people to contract the
bacteria. Symptoms can include abscesses and infection
in the genital and buttocks area, skin ulcers,
pneumonia, heart damage, and necrotizing fasciitis
-- the skin infection that gives the bacteria its
popular name.

All MRSA bacteria
are resistant to methicillin, but the new strain is
also resistant to antibiotics used to treat earlier forms:
clindamycin, tetracycline, and mupirocin.

Almost 19,000
people died nationwide from MRSA infection in 2005,
according to the CDC. (The Advocate)

Tags: Health

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