Posted by David Keelan on Friday, October 19, 2007
Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus.
What the 4377 is that? You may be asking. Well you should be. It has been all over the news lately and it is very serious.
I think our officials in Howard County, starting with Ken Ulman, should take the lead in bringing awareness of this issue to the public. Most of all he should not put any, especially some of our most vulnerable, citizen in a situation where they may be exposed to MRSA.
MRSA is a sta
ffph infection that is highly resistant to antibiotic medications and there has been a rise in the occurance of this strain of staff infection.
The Centers for Disease Control says that MRSA infections are more prevalent and invasive than previously thought. Additionally, the CDC says the overall incidence rate is an “astounding” 32 invasive infections per 100,000 people. Finally, older adults and people who are ill or have weakened immune systems, ordinary staph infections can cause serious illness called methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureusor MRSA.
Older adults…. Lets get back to that.
Howard [County] is the latest Maryland county where a drug resistant staph infection has showed up in its schools. The county health department says two confirmed cases of the superbug that doctors call MRSA have been recorded at Wilde Lake High School in Columbia..
Older adults and Wilde Lake.
The County announced the following…
Friday, October 19, 2007
9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Wilde Lake High School
5460 Trumpeter Road
Columbia, MD 21044
Do you think that was the wisest choice of venue for the 50+ Expo in light of the fact that two cases of MRSA have been reported in the same week? Ken Ulman, the Department of Aging, and the Department of health fill the place up with people who are 50 years old or older? People who are most vulnerable to MRSA?
What has Ken to do with this?
The full invitation and “Free Admission” notice is here.
The Howard County Department of Health noted to WJZ, when responding to the two MRSA cases at Wilde Lake:
“It’s only the relatively unusual case where the MRSA becomes systemic, gets into the blood stream and gets to the vital organs that it gets to be very dangerous. Those cases predominantly occur in hospitalized patients, the elderly, the sick,” said Howard County Health Officer Dr. Peter Beilensen.
Even though Howard County health officials don’t believe there’s cause for alarm, they’re not allowing students and teachers to come to school with an uncovered cut or break in their skin.
How did they insure that 50+ attendees didn’t come to Wilde Lake High School with uncovered cuts or breaks in their skin?
I don’t think it was very wise of Ken Ulman, the School System or the Health Department to allow this event to take place at Wilde Lake. For Pete’s sake what were they thinking? What has Ken to do with this event. Go to the web site and you will see his invitation to attend. Besides he is the County Executive and this is a County event.
According to the Washington Post:
A report this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association estimates that serious incidences of this strain are far more frequent than previously thought. Every year in the United States, the researchers said, MRSA causes more than 94,000 acute infections and nearly 19,000 deaths.
No wonder there are more incidences. People don’t think things through. This event should have been moved to a new venue as soon as these cases were identified at Wilde Lake. The cases were reported in the papers on the 18th. They must have confirmed this on the 17th at the latest. One would think that moving the event would have been very prudent.
You may think I am blowing this out of proportion but you would be wrong. The CDC is very worried about this and Ken Ulman should be taking it more seriously too. While he is out patting himself on the back about tapping into the Kaiser Foundation’s money for health care (it was a great idea by the way) he is turning his back on serious health threats.
I am not saying this was a reckless disregard (although it may border on it) I am saying it was foolish.