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MRSA Carriers on the Rise

Scientists are saying that up to 53 million people worldwide might be carriers of MRSA. Even in places where MRSA outbreaks have been a rarity for many years, incidence rates are beginning to rise.

MRSA is a type of bacteria that is resistant to certain antibiotics. It usually forms on the surface of the skin, but can enter the bloodstream is untreated. Most people that acquire MRSA have weakened immune systems. These outbreaks occur most frequently in hospitals and nursing homes and can be spread due to poor hygiene.

Scientists say that around 2 billion people have a form of MRSA. This amounts to about 25-30 percent of the world’s population. According to the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment in Bilthoven, the Netherlands, “fitter” strains of MRSA have evolved and are now even more resistant to antibiotic treatments. The “fitter” strains may be the start of an epidemic around the world.

MRSA has become an increasing problem in many countries in recent years. For example, in the United Kingdom, the number of deaths linked to MRSA rose 22 percent between 2003 and 2004.