Saturday, March 22, 2008

Seattle jail has superbug pandemic

Has the United States been reclassified as a Third World country yet?

In a period of only 5 months, the King County Jail in Seattle had a staggering 65 inmates with MRSA, a drug-resistant bacterial illness. While health officials aren't sure whether the detainees caught the potentially fatal superbug in jail, something tells me they didn't have MRSA until after they were booked, because MRSA is already spreading in institutional settings all over America. (A Justice Department report had already blasted the jail for its unsanitary conditions.)

MRSA was virtually unknown in America in the 1970s. Just since 1999, the rate of MRSA infections in American hospitals has doubled. (Gee, I wonder why?) More than 1 in 22 hospital patients is known to be infected. The rate of MRSA deaths in America is twice as high as it is in Britain, which has more effective measures for detecting and reporting MRSA.

I'm amazed that in America in 2008 this is even an issue. It reminds me of history textbooks talking about the Continental Congress having to move their sessions because of epidemics. Who'd have ever thought we'd see something like this in this decade? It doesn't exactly make me feel safer in case I ever have to go to the hospital (or jail).


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