After a terrifying ordeal with the flesh-eating disease and an intensive, three month rehabilitation, we’re happy to report that Aimee Copeland is back—and stronger than ever. Appearing recently in a talk show interview, the plucky, 24 year old grad student had a chance to speak about her near death struggle with Aeromonas hydrophila—the common waterborne bacterium that took both of her hands, feet and right leg.
Some readers may remember that Aimee’s troubles began after suffering a zip-line laceration that required more than 20 staples to close. Unbeknownst to anyone at the time, the wound was contaminated with Aeromonas hydrophilia— an organism common in brackish waters of the Tallapoosa river, near where Aimee was swimming. Before anything could be done, the infection had already begun to take root and within three days time, Aimee knew something was very wrong. “My entire leg was a dark purple colour. I wasn’t able to walk. I wasn’t able to speak. The only thing I was able to babble was, ‘I think I’m dying.”
According to the latest news from The Guardian, death certificates mentioning MRSA have fallen steadily in the past 5 years. The UK, known for its accurate and thorough reporting, has crunched us the facts to reveal patterns of decline, as noted in the graph below. In 2010, there were 485 reported deaths from MRSA – or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus – whereas 2011 counted only 364, as released by the Office for National Statistics. The antibiotic resistant bacteria MRSA has in recent years been repeatedly targeted by government policies, and the attention has not gone unnoticed. A Welsh government spokesperson stressed the effort being made to lighten the bug’s yearly blow: “We will work with healthcare organisations to ensure that they have robust, sustainable infection prevention and control measures in place and that staff have the skills, knowledge and resources to provide care in a safe environment.” Just miles away, Simon Burns, England’s Health Minister praised that “The news that MRSA deaths are lower than at any point in the last 15 years is a testament to the hard work and dedication of NHS staff across the country.” Read More
For the many lives impacted by MRSA each year, it often comes as a bit of a shock to learn that MRSA infections kill more people annually in the United States than AIDS. I personally found this shocking because I had heard so much about AIDS in school and in the media throughout my life, yet I had heard so little about MRSA when my dad died because of it in 2008. While approximately 18,000 individuals succumb to AIDS each year in the United States, another 18,650 lose their lives to MRSA infections.
MRSA is a term used to describe the several stains of Staphylococcus aureus that have become resistant to certain antibiotic treatments, meaning that they are harder to treat and especially threatening for individuals with compromised immune systems. MRSA is a common healthcare-associated infection, an infection acquired while receiving medical care, and is also a common cause of sepsis if allowed to enter the bloodstream. Read More