There is some tosh talked about MRSA, not least by the politicos in the four or five yearly spat over votes. The messages are that a) it’s all to do with dirty hospitals, b) could be solved by a return to ‘Matron,’ and c.) it could also be solved by a politician’s waving of a magic wand. Bollocks.
A short history lesson follows: Where did MRSA come from? Penicillin was discovered by Alexander Fleming in 1929. By the middle of the century, a variety of antibiotics were available. In the UK, these were free under the NHS. And they tasted awful, so when we felt better, we stopped taking the medicine. And small pockets of germs lying gasping under the medicinal assault got their breath back and began to resist the cure.
By 1960, the first MRSA was popping its head over the parapet in that third world land of filth and lack of medical progress that is the USofA.
For the most part it wasn’t a worry. It was a bug that sat up our noses or the back of our throats minding its own business and causing no harm. Like all these things, MRSA only becomes dangerous when it flits from safe warm, wet spots to somewhere else.
Like an open wound and into the bloodstream. Once in the plumbing, it becomes bloody lethal. Especially if the host isn’t feeling too well to start with.
Fast forward to today. One in three of us has MRSA sharing our bodies. Which means that one in three of us going into hospital is colonised, and one in three of the visitors are also colonised.
And one in three politicians. Blaming MRSA and using it as an election issue is so missing the point.
The real issue is that we’re on the verge of having no defence against infection. Too long-term for some it seems.