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Newsjock Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-14-08 06:48 PM
Original message
San Francisco's gay community hit by new form of staph infection
Source: San Francisco Chronicle

SAN FRANCISCO -- A new variety of staph bacteria, highly resistant to antibiotics and possibly transmitted by sexual contact, is spreading among gay men in San Francisco, Boston, New York and Los Angeles, researchers reported Monday.

The study released online by the journal Annals of Internal Medicine found the highest concentrations of infection by the drug-resistant bug in and around San Francisco's Castro District, and among patients who visit health clinics that treat HIV infections among gay men in San Francisco and Boston.

The culprit is a form of MRSA, or Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus, a bug that was once confined to hospitalized patients but, since the late 1990's, has been circulating outside medical settings, afflicting anyone from injection drug users to elementary school students. A strain called USA300 has been a leading cause of MRSA infection in this decade, and an exceptionally drug-resistant variant of it is now on the loose.

The study estimated that one in 588 residents living within the Castro neighborhood Zip code area is infected with that variant, which is resistant to six types of commonly used antibiotics. The risk of contracting this difficult-to-treat bug is 13-fold higher for gay men compared to the rest of the city's population, researchers found.

"We probably had it here first, and now it is spreading elsewhere," said Binh An Diep, a researcher at San Francisco General Hospital and lead author of the report. "This is a national problem, and San Francisco is at the epicenter."

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/01/14/BAI5UE0L8.DTL&tsp=1
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Olney Blue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-14-08 06:53 PM
Response to Original message
1. We need more research on bacterial diseases- this is frightening.
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zanne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-14-08 06:55 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Agreed. Yikes. nt
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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-14-08 06:59 PM
Response to Original message
3. there has to be more research on these resistant staphs.
they threaten SO MANY people.

my partner died of a staph that got into his brain.

this was many years -- and not related to this.
but i only bring this up to note that staph is very deadly period.
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Missy M Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-14-08 07:04 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. Staph sure is deadly......
I know several people who went for minor procedures in the hospital and died from staph infections instead of what they were originally being treated for. Staph infections are very nasty. It is frightening to know some antibiotics are becoming ineffective because of over use.
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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-14-08 07:11 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. evolving bugs are inevitable -- period.
and we became very complacent -- both about the issue of over use -- and about good old fashioned -- scrub the place down and wash your hands.

we also were very slow to develop new antibiotics over time.

which is aggravating because even a high schooler with a decent background in biology knows these bugs change.
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Missy M Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-14-08 07:26 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. You would think developing new antibiotics would be....
a top priority at all times. I have seen practices in hospitals and doctors offices that make you cringe when it comes to not scrubbing the place down and washing hands.
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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-14-08 08:04 PM
Response to Reply #8
11. i know, huh?!?! -- on both counts.
there should always be new antibiotics in the works -- and me too -- hospitals, doctors offices, clinics -- none of them are washed down on a continual basis like they should be.

when i was little and you went to the hospital -- or the family doctors -- people were always, always cleaning and washing their hands.

my doctor would always wash his hands before looking at anybody.

it just makes sense.

the other thing is -- you can't open windows in hospitals any more.
and that's basic -- clean fresh flowing air is the enemy of all kinds of bugs.
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JerseygirlCT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-14-08 08:12 PM
Response to Reply #8
12. Apparently, not enough money in it
More profitable to make Viagra or the like.
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appleannie1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-14-08 07:00 PM
Response to Original message
4. Germs and bacteria have evolved to more resistant strains
due to the over use of antibiotics. The use of antibacterial soap for everything will probably cause other resistant strains of bacteria to evolve also.
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zanne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-14-08 07:11 PM
Response to Reply #4
7. Do you know how hard it is to buy non-antibacterial soap?
Especially if you can't afford anything more expensive, try finding a dishwashing detergent, a general cleaner or a bathroom cleaner that isn't antibiotic. I try to use bleach as much as I can, but too much of that isn't good, either.
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arikara Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-14-08 07:58 PM
Response to Reply #7
10. The only one I have a problem getting
is dishwasher soap. The biodegradable ones just don't get the dishes clean. Out of necessity and now family demand, I make our hand soap and liquify some of that for shampoo. I make and use colloidal silver for all other cleaning (among other things, there are hundreds of uses for the stuff and its perfectly safe). Dish soap, I use something mild like Grannies or VIP that doesn't give my hands a rash like the antibac stuff does.

The Mr caught a MRSA infection from the hospital and it took 4 rounds of antibiotics to get rid of it. I sympathize with anyone who has to go through what he did. I've since read that tumeric works wonders to get rid of the MRSA boils, faster and less harmful than antibiotics. As he has been in and out of the hospital a lot lately, we both take tumeric daily and have had no infections since then. I know its anecdotal but its something that won't do harm either. At any rate, tumeric is known to be a blood cleanser and good for the liver.

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thecrow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-14-08 08:51 PM
Response to Reply #7
15. Try Dr. Bonner's soap!
Available at health food stores.
Comes in a variety of flavors and actually is as multipurpose as the good Dr. says.
I like to take it camping with me because it has so many uses.
Almond, Lavender, Peppermint, Eucalyptus
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femrap Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-14-08 09:18 PM
Response to Reply #7
16. Ivory soap? I like it. nt
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zanne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-15-08 08:19 AM
Response to Reply #16
19. Does Ivory come in dishwashing detergent and hand cleanser? nt
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femrap Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-15-08 02:36 PM
Response to Reply #19
27. Sure does...I love the
dishwashing detergent...it is great on handwash clothes as well (Woolite sucks!) I don't use their hand cleanser, but I'm sure it does....I remember seeing it.

It is one of the very few Proctor and Gamble products I use...but I have sensitive skin...Tide is the only clothing detergent I use. Call them if you have a problem finding Ivory in your area. I have found that not all stores carry it.
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raebrek Donating Member (467 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-15-08 11:27 AM
Response to Reply #4
25. Not taking the full course of antibiotics could be the culprit.
Antibiotics must be taken for the full amount of time prescribed by your doctor. Many times, patients will stop the use of an antibiotic when they begin to feel better and it seems that the illness has gone. However, even after the symptoms are gone, the bacteria may still be present in small amounts and an infection can return if use of the antibiotic is stopped. Not completing the prescribed dose may also promote resistance.

http://www.connectwithkids.com/tipsheet/2003/153_dec3/staph.html

Raebrek!!!
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msongs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-14-08 07:45 PM
Response to Original message
9. This is also becoming common in other groups it is NOT another gay disease nt
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nashville_brook Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-14-08 08:35 PM
Response to Reply #9
14. amen to that.
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Javaman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-15-08 10:35 AM
Response to Reply #9
21. Exactly my first thought as well.
I thought it really bizarre, the gay slant to the report.

I have heard more about this infection in the general population then in a specific group.

This reminds me of when AIDS first started appearing in earnest and the various powers that be tried blaming it all on the gays.
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LostinVA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-15-08 11:18 AM
Response to Reply #9
24. Exactly -- there's been outbreaks of it in middle schools, here in NJ
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pipoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-14-08 08:29 PM
Response to Original message
13. My sis contracted MRSA 4 years ago
after back surgery. Long story but we believe the surgeon was very careless (to the point of negligence) in his office following the surgery. I was having to make decisions about whether she would be put on life support etc.(power of attorney). She finally got through it after nearly a week of drug induced coma. Now she is considered a "dirty patient" for the rest of her life. She will always be the last patient in a surgical suite for scheduled procedures then the room scrubbed.
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leftynyc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-16-08 02:57 PM
Response to Reply #13
38. What is a dirty patient?
I'm not following the connection.
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pipoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-16-08 03:44 PM
Response to Reply #38
39. The way I understand it
once a person has been infected with MRSA that person is considered a carrier or at least at risk for passing the infection for the rest of that person's life...even after the person recovers from the infection. My sister is an RN and this may be a term used by the medical community not usually passed on to patients. Again this is the way it was explained to me. She recently went in for an out patient procedure at a surgical center and was in fact scheduled as the last surgery for the day in the particular operating room.
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leftynyc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-16-08 04:16 PM
Response to Reply #39
41. Is your sister the RN
the same sister who had the infection? Because if so, how much danger could she be if they still let her around patients or other sick people?
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pipoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-16-08 05:18 PM
Response to Reply #41
43. Yes the same
her story is quite long...to make it as short as possible. She has had chronic asthma her entire life. Part of her treatment has been on massive doses of cortisone for over 20 years. The result is inability to heal. Following her surgery she contracted MRSA around 2 weeks later. That was 4 1/2 years ago and the surgery incision just finally closed completely last week after 4 1/2 years of intensive wound care. She couldn't work as an RN until the wound healed. She just started back to work this week as an RN, it's been tough for her. I doubt she could ever be a surgical nurse but she never was. She is going back in an administrative position so I don't know how much contact she will have with patients...that is a good question though, I'll have to ask her.
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leftynyc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-17-08 05:37 AM
Response to Reply #43
45. That sounds like quite the ordeal
Wishing her well with going back to an under-appreciated and underpaid job. Nurses are truly angels of mercy.
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nebenaube Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-14-08 10:11 PM
Response to Original message
17. unless....
Unless this is a different strain from the outbreak three years ago (Wacked us in WI, all you had to do was use the sauna at a heathclub to contract it) it still responds to sulfa-drugs. That particular fundie health club is bankrupt now; cheap bastards. It can be spread by contact sports (racket ball) and gym equipment. Any way, I fought the damn boils for almost a year and yes, my sinus's were colonized but Bactricin (?) worked; I tested clean on three followup cultures...

IMO It was also being spread by the european house spider (hobbo spider) which invaded the northwest via the port of Seattle (at least that was what I deduced in the process of researching it after I found the damn spider hiding behind my desk in the basement, they are really fast and aggressive). The street lights on the bridge over a river here are just covered with them in the summer. They make funnel-shaped webs.

I noted that clinicians here were remarkably ignorant when differentiating spider bites from boils. I found that fresh aloe combined with sitz baths will heal the boils faster than anything else but if you're a nose picker you're probably colonized and need the little tubes of gel that they give you to put up your nose.

This article sounds like another slam against gays and I call bullshit.
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ileus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-14-08 10:26 PM
Response to Original message
18. cia engineered?
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lonestarnot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-15-08 08:29 AM
Response to Reply #18
20. Plum Island.
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closeupready Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-15-08 10:42 AM
Response to Original message
22. This is not a new development - not the strain, not bacterial infections, nor is
Edited on Tue Jan-15-08 10:42 AM by closeupready
it limited to the gay community. Is this, or is this not, the same MRSA bug that was covered on 60 Minutes, and in national news magazines, not even three months ago?

It's good that an alarm is being sounded, so as to keep people on alert, though. It can be deadly, and especially among those who are immuno-compromised, as I understand it.
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AngryAmish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-15-08 03:13 PM
Response to Reply #22
28. Not really the same thing
MRSA is methlicillin resistent staph auereus. MRSA describes various bugs, some more virulent than others. MRSA, as first described, was not resistent to several antibiotics including Cipro (I think), Keflex and vancomyecin (sp). This is multiple drug resistent MRSA, a much deadlier bug than regular MRSA. Plus it is being caught in the community, not in a hospital enviroment.

This is not limited to the gay community by any means but there is an hot spot in this one area. This disease is very serious and I hope they get whatever help is needed.
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closeupready Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-15-08 03:55 PM
Response to Reply #28
29. Oh, so this is a new, more virulent strain of MRSA?
Yikes!
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AngryAmish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-15-08 05:21 PM
Response to Reply #29
30. Remember the "flesh eating bacteria" craze of a few years ago?
This is the flesh eating bacteria but drug resistent. Pretty scary stuff. (And not every who gets the disease has their flesh dissove like the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark but it is a nasty bug.)

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boricua79 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-15-08 11:17 AM
Response to Original message
23. Just a semi-ignorant question...partly related to this issue
and ignorant in the sense of not knowing...not in the sense of being an ass.

Why is it that it's more common to spread diseases such as HIV and this one in gay communities? Is it because there's more chance of anal sex rupturing smaller tissue walls in the anus (in comparison to the vagina)? There's more chance of blood to penile liquid contact?

i've been trying to figure out what's the scientific reason behind that...because if I got my cues from the right-wing, I'd get the answer that God Hates Fags, and he's punishing them.

Thanks for an answer on that.
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closeupready Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-15-08 11:32 AM
Response to Reply #23
26. I don't understand what you mean by "more common". Can you explain?
Microorganisms don't discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, of course. :D They do discriminate on the basis of types of activity.
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boricua79 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-15-08 06:25 PM
Response to Reply #26
32. correct me if I'm wrong
Edited on Tue Jan-15-08 06:25 PM by boricua79
but aren't STD rates in gay communities proportionally larger than in heterosexual communities? I could have sworn that this was medical fact. I'm not arguing that STDs are something only gays get...that would be homophobic fantasy. I'm asking WHY the rates are higher in gay communities (particularly male homosexual circles). My guess is that, because gays engage in more anal sex, they're more likely to rupture thinner lining of the anal walls in the middle of sex, and be more susceptible to transmit penile liquids infected with a virus to exposed areas within the anus. The anus was not designed to facilitate sexual penetration. It doesn't have the type of self-lubricating fluids present in the female vagina. Thus, sex is rougher and more prone to "rupturing" within the anus. I would daresay that the same probably holds true for heterosexual anal sex.

That's just my guess..that's why I'm trying to find out.

I'd like to know also what's the statistical knowledge on male homosexual condom use.
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closeupready Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-15-08 08:32 PM
Response to Reply #32
34. This is an interesting post.
I believe STD rates fluctuate. For a while during the 90's, the STD rate among gay men was actually LOWER than for other groups.

As to whether the anus was "designed" (by God? Shiva? Zeus?) to facilitate sexual penetration, maybe, maybe not. There are arguments either way, such as considering where the male prostate lies in the male anatomy, the "purpose" of pre-seminal fluid, etc. Who knows. :shrug:

As to condom use, I'm not aware of precise statistics. Again, I would guess usage rates fluctuate in direct proportion to educational outreach.
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boricua79 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-16-08 09:45 AM
Response to Reply #34
35. well, I'm sure everythign
to some degree, is up for debate, but if we come from the biological conclusion that sexual penetration exists primarily for reproduction, the science seems to indicate that vaginal intercourse is what nature intended. I'm sure nature didn't intend blowjobs, finger jobs, or any other kind of alternative sexual activities, yet they are done. I'm not blaming gays for wanting to engage in anal sex...i'm just making the observation that vaginal sex is easier because the vagina was intended to facilitate sexual penetration with its own lubrication, and facilitate birthing. Unless you believe the whole Genesis-based argument that women are condemned to suffer birth pains because of Eve's crime.

I'm assuming that the small period were gays' STD rates were lower was due to increased focus and education among gays that they were a target population whose sexual activities were more prone to transmission of STDs. I'm sure earlier on, there was homophobic stigma associated with STDs (only gays get AIDS, that sort of thing). But, even after heterosexuals received education on the subject, I still believe that people who engage in sexual activities that are more likely to rupture tissue in any of the orifices (forced sex, non-lubricated sex in vagina, anal sex, etc.), are more likely to receive STDs. So, male gays, in particular, need to be on notice about that...though i'd argue that condoms should be used no matter where you put your "package" in.

Anyway, thanks for your post.
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Brrrp Donating Member (124 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-16-08 02:08 PM
Response to Reply #35
37. I think you're right on this - anal sex is dangerous both for hets & gays.
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Truthiness Donating Member (65 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-17-08 10:49 AM
Response to Reply #37
47. Gay men tend to have more partners than straight men
It's not a particular activity that's a risk factor, it's having sex with lots of different people.

The reason that gay men have more partners than straight men isn't because they are better or worse, it's because they can. Many straight men would love to have sex with lots of different partners (in their fantasies at least) but women don't view sex and love in quite the same way that men do.
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insleeforprez Donating Member (321 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-16-08 03:55 PM
Response to Reply #32
40. Yes, you are accurate
Anal sex is more likely to spread infection than vaginal sex, probably because along the evolutionary path, there was a bigger need for the vagina to protect against infection than the anus.
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AngryAmish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-15-08 05:36 PM
Response to Reply #23
31. On HIV transmittal
The type of sexual activity does increase HIV transmittal. Receptive anal sex is more dangerous because of the tissue of the large intestine. In Africa HIV is transmitted more easily because of "dry sex", which damages vaginal walls. Oral sex has a much lower rate of transmittal.

So if God Hated Fags for anal sex, he God must love fags when they fellatiate each other. And lesbians have a very low HIV rate so God must be OK with some homosexuals.

So, in summary, some sexual practices are more likely to transmit HIV than others.

I don't know if gay communities are more likely to get this MRSA than others. Many martial arts dojos and other athletic settings have had similar outbreaks. And I suspect that the gay community in San Fransisco has a pretty good public health monitoring system in place because of the history of the place.
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boricua79 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-15-08 06:29 PM
Response to Reply #31
33. so is my basic guess correct?
Anal sex or any sex involving less lubrication is more prone to damage linings within the vagina or anus that can make it easier to transmit viruses?

And if this is true, and gays want to engage in anal penetration, than the campaign to aid in halting these type of virus is vigorous (pardon the imagery) education that condom use is a mandatory requirement when engaging in sex that is more likely to transmit viruses.

The article talks about disproportional outbreaks of this virus in the gay community. Is it fact, or gay bashing?
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Infinite Hope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-16-08 11:29 AM
Response to Original message
36. If people (straight and gay) only had sex with a serious partner, it wouldn't be a significant issue
n/t
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goforit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-16-08 04:23 PM
Response to Original message
42. MRSA??? is NOT a new staph infection!!!...Every hospital has it running rampant!!
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pipoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-16-08 05:22 PM
Response to Reply #42
44. It is my understanding that
MRSA is a family of infections with new variations popping up. I read this OP article as being a different variation...I may be wrong..
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humbled_opinion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-17-08 09:23 AM
Response to Reply #44
46. I think your right Staph
is a common bacteria but when it penetrates the body it becomes dangerous usually in people with already compromised immune systems.
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Truthiness Donating Member (65 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-17-08 10:56 AM
Response to Reply #44
48. It's a new variation of MRSA
It's not responding to the same drugs that earlier versions of MRSA have responded to.
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Truthiness Donating Member (65 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-17-08 10:59 AM
Response to Reply #48
49. Tip: stay away from refined sugar to prevent MRSA
I've noticed that I only get boils when I'm consuming a lot of refined sugar (or drinking beer).

With high-fructose corn syrup making sugar a cheap commodity, I'm not surprised to see staph infections increasing.
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bitchkitty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-17-08 02:58 PM
Response to Original message
50. Very scary!
I remember when I was little I used to get a lot of colds and respiratory problems - the doctor would always give me penicillin - without taking a culture, nothing like that, it was automatic. I think that's the cause of these superbugs - overuse of antibiotics and antibacterials. A good alternative to both insecticide and cleanser is enzyme cleaner - KleenFree or BugArrest are two brands. I bought some to kill possible flea eggs in my carpet and it is AMAZING. Non toxic (you can pour this shit on your head, if you were so inclined, or brush your teeth with it, although I imagine it would taste pretty rank), biodegradable and removes smells.

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