Originally published November 11 2014
Antibiotic-resistant bacteria found in hospitals likely came from industrial livestock farms
by Jennifer Lilley
(NaturalNews) Many people would like to think of a hospital as a safe refuge, a place that will monitor and, hopefully, help restore health. However, according to a new study conducted by UK researchers at the University of Edinburgh, the very place designed to improve ailments may be a hot spot for a particular strain of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) that could further jeopardize already-compromised systems, including those of newborn babies. (1)
The specific strain, CC398, which is resistant to many antibiotic drugs and can be transferred to humans, is typically carried by certain industrial livestock. Even worse, it's making it's way to hospitals, an environment where immune systems are already unstable. (1)
At this point, the big question may be, "How is it possible for humans in hospitals to get something that's commonly found in the bodies of livestock?"
The problem of eating foods riddled with antibiotic-resistant bacteriaOne answer to that question is rather obvious. Consumption of certain animal products, which are commonly pumped with excessive amounts of growth-promoting antibiotics, can wreak havoc on health. Many that are sold in supermarkets have been linked with having high percentages of antibiotic-resistant bacteria including E. coli, Salmonella and S. aureus. In fact, the Environmental Working Group has published findings noting that such bacteria have been found in 69 percent of raw pork chops within the past few years. (2)
A nutritionist with the Environmental Working Group, Dawn Undurraga, has words of caution for the public. "Consumers should be very concerned that antibiotic-resistant bacteria are now common in the meat aisles of most American supermarkets," she said. She added that such organisms can "spread antibiotic-resistance, which threatens to bring on a post-antibiotic era where important medicines critical to treating people could become ineffective." (2)
Surprising way industrial livestock workers harbor and spread MRSA bacteriaThe other answer to the question is perhaps more shocking. It comes from findings by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health researchers and points to the nasal passageways of livestock workers, where MRSA bacteria may reside for up to four days after initial exposure. Previously, it was believed that such bacteria stayed in a livestock worker's nose for less than 24 hours. (3)
It's explained that a hog worker, for example, who is immersed in an environment laden with such bacteria, now has more time to spread the antibiotic-resistant MRSA strain to others in environments such as hospitals. Therefore, they play a significant role in elevating the spread of serious health risks associated with MRSA, which include a range of infections that may lead to death. (4)
Even exposure to manure near an industrial livestock environment has been linked to increases in MRSA cases, including ones acquired in healthcare environments (HA-MRSA). In fact, it's been determined that people who live in close proximity to pig farms or agricultural property where their manure is spread are 30 percent more likely to get HA-MRSA. (5)
Sorting through Big Pharma loopholesDespite the findings, antibiotic-resistant bacteria continue to outpace the effectiveness of antibiotic treatments. One one hand, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) reports that, "Because of the link between antibiotic use in food-producing animals and the occurrence of antibiotic-resistant infections in humans, antibiotics should be used in food-producing animals only under veterinary oversight and only to manage and treat infectious diseases, not to promote growth." (6)
On the other hand, several people have become wise to a loophole that essentially still allows antibiotics to be used in industrial farm settings. It's under the guise of providing care for sick animals when, in reality, it's no secret that antibiotics not only fuel livestock growth and weight gain, but also add considerable heft to many pharma companies' bank accounts.
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