(NaturalNews) An antibiotic-resistant strain of the common staph bacteria is now responsible for more deaths in the United States than AIDS, according to a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. "This is a significant public health problem" said CDC medical epidemiologist Scott K. Fridkin. "We should be very worried."
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a variant of a common bacteria species that normally causes easily-treated staph infections. While staph infections are not usually life-threatening, if untreated they can cause wounded flesh to necrotize (die), leading to painful and disfiguring abscesses. In severe cases, the bacteria can spread to other parts of the body, such as joints, bones, lungs, blood or other vital organs. This can cause potentially fatal complications, and patients so infected must be given intensive care immediately.
Because MRSA is resistant to all first-line antibiotics, it is far more dangerous than the easily treated varieties of the bacterium. And according to the CDC, MRSA infection is becoming more common.
Researchers analyzed data from nine states and concluded that 31.8 out of 100,000 U.S. residents are being infected by MRSA each year, leading to 94,360 infections and 18,650 deaths across the country. This is in comparison to 12,500 deaths from AIDS in 2005, and represents more infections than meningitis, bacterial pneumonia and flesh-eating strep put together.
"This indicates these life-threatening MRSA infections are much more common than we had thought," Fridkin said.
The CDC says that MRSA infections are most common among children and the elderly, and more common among blacks than among members of other ethnic or racial groups.
Prior studies on MRSA have concluded that health care providers could significantly reduce the spread of the disease by implementing stricter hygiene measures. Outbreaks of MRSA in prisons, schools, and other institutions have also become increasingly common.
"MRSA outbreaks are entirely the fault of the conventional medical community, which has actually encouraged the breeding of the bacteria through rampant overuse of antibiotics," said consumer health advocate Mike Adams. "The rest of the story is that MRSA is easily killed by colloidal silver, garlic, rainforest herbs and numerous other natural remedies, but the entire conventional medical community continues to pretend these substances don't exist. Thus, they refuse to embrace the actual cures for MRSA, and thousands of people are dying each year as a result. This medical catastrophe will continue for as long as doctors remain ignorant about the curative powers of natural remedies while remaining foolishly limited to the use of patented pharmaceuticals to treat all infections," Adams said.