MRSA Infections More Likely When You Live Near Livestock

October 23, 2012

Because of the use of antibiotics to raise livestock, antibiotic resistant bacteria, like MRSA, flourish. A new study has found that living near livestock raises the risk that you could be carrying MRSA (methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus).

Even if you haven’t had contact with livestock, living near them seems to be enough to increase the risk of carrying MRSA infection. Previously, it wasn’t thought that the strain of MRSA most livestock carry could spread without direct contact with them or from human to human. That means that either other animals are propagating the disease, or it can actually be transmitted between people.

In places where antibiotic use has been discontinued except for in presence of actual illness, MRSA rates drop. Knowing that livestock acquired MRSA can spread among humans may help to increase awareness and change the overuse of antibiotics.

You can carry MRSA without having staph infection symptoms. A cut or other injury can introduce MRSA to the body and lead to infection.

Signs of staph infection include small red acne-like injuries that may seem mild but don’t heal after a couple of days, swelling, fever, and pain. Severe staph infection can take weeks to heal and be life-threatening.

If you live near livestock, it’s worth taking extra steps to prevent infection whenever you have an open wound.

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