Drug-Resistant Staph Germ's Toll Is Higher Than Thought
Posted: Wednesday, October 17, 2007
A dangerous germ that has been spreading around the country causes more life-threatening infections than public health authorities had thought and is killing more people in the United States each year than the AIDS virus, federal health officials reported yesterday.
"The infection is most common among African Americans and the elderly, but also commonly strikes very young children."
documented the emergence of an antibiotic-resistant strain of another bacterium known as Streptococcus pneumoniae, which causes common ear infections.
The researchers attributed the emergence of the strain to a combination of the overuse of antibiotics and the introduction of a vaccine that protects against the infection.
"The use of the vaccine created an ecological vacuum, and that combined with excessive use of antibiotics to create this new superbug," Pichichero said.
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