We've heard a lot of about MRSA (or staff infections) in the news lately, and ten years ago, this was a problem limited only to intensive care units in hospitals. Now it's becoming a community problem, particularly in urban environments, where we're seeing up to a third of people carry drug resistant MRSA as a cause for infection.
The antibiotics we would normally use do not work against MRSA. Luckily, we do have some that do. But these bacteria are smart, and will continue to find ways to survive. These organisms lived long before human beings came into existence and they will likely outlive us long into the future. Many of the challenges we face with infectious diseases are caused by giving antibiotics inappropriately.
Dr. John D. Cahill, M.D. is a physician and medical educator who founded the Center for Global Collaboration & Health Initiatives. While studying abroad in medical school and after his postgraduate medical training at Brown University, Dr. Cahill spent time in Southeast Asia & Africa.