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July 6 2013

Factory Farms May Be Ground-Zero For Drug Resistant Staph Bacteria

The problem of antibiotic-resistant bacteria—especially MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus)—has ballooned in recent years. Bacteria in the Staphylococcus genus have always infected humans, causing skin abscesses, a weakened immune system that leaves the body more susceptible to other infections, and—if left untreated—death.

Historically, staph with resistance to drugs have mostly spread within hospitals. Last year, though, a study found that from 2003 to 2008, the number of people checking into U.S. hospitals with MRSA doubled; moreover, in each of the last three years, this number has exceeded the amount of hospital patients with HIV or influenza combined.

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