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Over the last few years the MRSA 'superbug' has been in the news with alarming regularity as one hospital after another has been affected by it. However, it can also have a devastating effect on veterinary surgeries, as Christine Lee of World Animal Day has been finding out.
MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus) is a generally harmless bacterium, but one which can prove fatal to a person or an animal with a weakened immune system, for example someone who has just undergone surgery. It can be spread by direct contact, or by coughing or sneezing, and can be carried from people to animals and vice versa. MRSA is notoriously resistant to antibiotics, and it is thought that over-reliance on antibiotics in the past has led to its evolution.
The spread of MRSA in hospitals has often been linked to poor hygiene practices. So it is unsurprising that it should also be on the increase in veterinary surgeries.
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