Flesh-eating bug spreads in Britain

February 2nd, 2012 - 11:11 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Feb 2 (IANS) A flesh-eating form of pneumonia that is easily passed between healthy people on public transport is spreading across Britain, the Daily Mail reported.

The deadly strain of MRSA called USA300 passes easily through skin-to-skin contact. It can survive on surfaces and so has the potential to be picked up on buses and tubes.

It was first seen in the US but cases are now being reported in the community and not just hospitals in Britain, the newspaper said Thursday.

Ruth Massey, from the department of biology and biochemistry at the University of Bath, said extra vigilance was required around this and similar MRSA bugs known as PVL-positive community acquired strains.

The USA300 is resistant to treatment by several antibiotics and can cause large boils on the skin. In severe cases, it can lead to fatal blood poisoning or a form of pneumonia that can eat away at lung tissue.

Massey said there were 1,000 cases of PVL-positive community acquired MRSA in England in the last year, of which 200 were USA300 strains.

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