17 March 2009

Porcine Superbugs

Just a quick shoutout to a recent NYT column by Nick Kristof on MRSA "superbugs," staph infections that are resistant to antibiotics. These seem to be transmitted from pigs to humans and are near-epidemic among people who work with hogs. I was shocked to read that 18,000 people a year die from MRSA infections, more than die annually from AIDS. The pig MRSA problem is probably linked to the extreme overuse of antibiotics with industrial-farm pigs, as with all industrial livestock. After reading about "pig brain infections" a while back, I personally am feeling even more put off by pork. Risk of parasites is bad enough. It really is a high-risk meat.

Update: If Kristof's first column wasn't enough to put you off pork, this follow-up may do the trick.

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