Staphylococcus keeps mutating into more dangerous forms. One out of five infections caused death in the United
States in 2005. The new Oueensland mutation of Staphylococcus death rate is one out of two infections.,23739,24322050-5003426,00.html

Flesh-eating superbug confounds the experts     [MRSA page]
Article from: Courier Mail                                                                             [Flesh eating infection photos]

By Peter Michael

September 10, 2008 12:00am

SCIENTISTS are warning of a deadly flesh-eating superbug ``epidemic''  which has been blamed for the
deaths of healthy teenagers across the country.

Known as the Queensland clone, a new mutation of the drug-resistant bacteria kills one out of every two patients
who acquire it, a medical summit has been told.

It has been blamed for the deaths of healthy teenagers and is reportedly on the verge of an outbreak.

Doctors are urging a "search-and-destroy" policy to protect against the flesh-eating bug that can lead to a severe form
of pneumonia with death in 50 per cent of cases.

Patients also show signs of boils, gaping wounds and bloodstream poisoning as the flesh-eating bug destroys the
layers between the skin and muscle.

Unlike hospital-acquired MSRA, which usually affects the elderly, the bug attacks healthy young children and adults
and can be passed from person to person.

More than 350 leading international medical experts are in Cairns for a four-day summit on methicillin-resistant
staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) superbugs. But they warn they are yet to find the "holy grail" of vaccines to treat the
killer bug.

"We're looking at a major epidemic," Keryn Christiansen, the conference organiser, said.

"These are much more virulent strains of these bugs. We're seeing more people coming to our emergency
departments, more people admitted with more severe infections and we're seeing people die. It's happening right
across Australia."

Antibiotics seemed to have no effect.

"If we have a pandemic of influenza and it triggers an outbreak of the Queensland clone in the community, it could be
catastrophic," Professor Christiansen, director of microbiology at Royal Perth Hospital, said.

"We could have a situation where up to half of those who are sick end up dying.

"This bug is a very clever adaptable bug that has picked up resistance genes."

More than two million hospital-acquired infections occur in the US each year with about 600,000 MRSA cases in Britain.

Principal scientist, Department of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, Royal Perth Hospital, Geoffrey Coombs, said
MSRA was one of the biggest bacterial threats to humanity.