Currently killing 50% MORE than AIDS

If you haven’t yet heard of MRSA — Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus — you soon will.

In the St. Louis Post-Dispatch today (10/17/2007), the front page headline reads, “Staph deadlier than AIDS,” and the article contains some sobering information from a recent report:

  • MRSA causes an estimated 18,650 deaths nation wide (94,360 total cases).  In the same year that provided the framework for the MRSA study (2005), AIDS killed about 12,500 people.
  • Most cases of MRSA infections were health-care related.  In fact, for only 13.7% of the infections were the health care industry ruled out as a possible cause.  26.6% were considered “Hospital-onset” and 58.4% were categorized as “Post-health care within previous year.”
  • Currently, the most vulnerable population groups are elderly, blacks, and young children.

The article is actually from the Washington Post, so you can read it from either source: The St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s copy is here, and the Washington Post’s is here.  Neither article contains the graphics or the “How to Prevent Infection” information that came in my daily print version, but the Washington Post online article does contain a link to a video.

(FYI: There is an MSNBC posting of an AP article that uses different figures than the Post-Dispatch (or Post) article, including dramatically different figures for the 2005 AIDS deaths: 17,011.  However, it still pegs the estimated MRSA deaths as greater.  It is worth a read, as well: find it here.  Another benefit of the MSNBC online article: It does list the AP’s “How to Prevent Infection” info.)

Will popular actors and rock musicians be putting together a benefit concert and mass media event to fund research into cures for MRSA any time soon?  I suspect that it is not as “hip” a disease as AIDS in that community so I doubt it, but I may need to repent for being overly cynical.

If you have had a loved one die from MRSA, then none of this is necessarily a surprise to you.  I have (and so have some of you, I know) and I have known several others who had been infected or have had family members infected.  I also know a woman who was advised by her doctors in the hospital that they wanted to get her husband out of the hospital ASAP to reduce the risk of his contracting MRSA.  I would discuss the horribly difficult complications that can arise from an MRSA infection, but I know too many who are too close to the subject and I do not want to relive it with them — if you are ignorant of the ravages that can be caused by this disease, please consider reading one of the articles linked in this post, for your own good and for the good of your family.
Then there is this Associated Press story from Virginia: “21 schools closed after teen dies of staph”.  One poor young man gets sick and dies, and 21 schools are closed for intensive cleaning.  No, it’s not an overreaction.

I cannot help but be reminded of the many prophetic passages in Scripture that speak as Deuteronomy 28:27 does, in which God says that if she does not repent Israel will experience, “the boils of Egypt, with tumors, with the scab, and with the itch, from which you cannot be healed.”  Perhaps an effective means of defeating this bacteria will be found — we can all hope and pray — but unless America begins to turn to her God, we can expect MRSA to be only the preview of the feature presentation yet to come.

5 thoughts on “Currently killing 50% MORE than AIDS

  1. Dear Mr. Smith,

    Shalom y’all (שלום יאלל)! May you get to see the Twelve Tribes of Israel Booths next year at the Feast. And welcome back to the madhouse that is The World And Everything In It This Side Of The Messianic Age.

    I doubt if you need to repent for being overly cynical on AIDS versus MRSA (in terms of research and treatment for a “hip” or at least a “consciousness-raised” disease). The accusation has been made, of course, that not enough federal funding has been given to AIDS research and treatment in the U.S. In response, someone created a chart showing just how disproportional (almost exponentially so, if memory serves) the increase of federal funding for AIDS research and treatment has been, considering the numbers who have been infected or are at risk of infection. The conclusion of the counter-argument is that AIDS research in the U.S. is as much driven by political agendas (including sexually “spun” ones) as anything else. I can hardly see how that could be otherwise. MRSA doesn’t have that kind of questionable “glamour” yet.

    This is not to underplay just how serious the AIDS problem is. I know you know that it’s even worse in much of the rest of the world. Southern Africa will be decimated by it, if the policies of its present and probable future leaders don’t do so first. But AIDS, MRSA, and a host of other diseases (most of which, thank God, have remained on the fringes of World Civilization so far) have this in common: a diabolical genius in getting around the human immune system, itself one of the most brilliant designs in nature. Think of what would happen if a lot of these diseases started hitting the world, including the West, all at once. It sounds a lot like what the Bible predicts would happen to Israel because of its blatant sins, doesn’t it? There is no physical reason why such a thing couldn’t happen, and from all I’ve read, those who fight epidemic diseases *know* it.

  2. Howdy, and thanks, Ms. Frank!

    That line in the BBC article that said, “However, the researchers say they are unable to reveal which oils carry benefits because of commercial sensitivities,” was weird.

    Are they waiting so that they can market the oils under a trademark name, like “MRSA-be-gone”? Are they waiting out of public concern? If so, “commercial sensitivities” is an idd way of expressing it.

    Were they able to at least tell the complementary medicine specialists at Christie Cancer Hospital who had asked them to do the study in the first place?

    Thanks, again! Hopefully the “commercial sensitivities” will pass soon (though I note the lack of a “yet” in the comment above), and the good news can be shared with the rest of us.

    — Wallace Smith

  3. I was wondering that, too. You’d think that they’d want to get this information out if it’s so effective. But right, it’s probably an issue of someone wanting to patent the oils and sell them for big bucks. All in the name of money…

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