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Alert Number 187

MRSA: A Deadly Super Bug

Date: August 21, 2006

Managing infections is perhaps the single most important thing we can do to stay alive. As immune compromised folks, this is often harder for CLL patients than the general public. Many of the immune functions that are important in keeping away the invaders are either working at less than peak efficiency due to the CLL itself, or they have been further eroded due to the chemotherapy drugs we must use to control the CLL. This is the classic "between a rock and a hard place" scenario.

Resistant varieties of the common “staph” infections are making the news, big time. Left undiagnosed or treated with ineffective medications, simple sores on the skin that look like nothing more than an insect bite can quickly become dangerous, even life threatening. CA-MRSA (Community Acquired Methicillin Reistant Staphylococcus aureus) is a long-winded name for a nasty bug. What makes it so dangerous is that it spreads like wildfire, is very resistant to many of the common antibiotics and a large percent of the population are “Typhoid Marys” – people who have the resistant staph bug on their skin, in their noses, etc., but show no symptoms. Safety lies in keeping a watchful eye out for it, knowing what to look for and taking prompt action when necessary. The latest article on Topics, Super Bugs: Staph, should get you started on that path.

Be well,

Chaya
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