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Kristof questions whether pork factories contribute to the spread of MRSA

Nicholas Kristof published an article in the New York Times on March 12, identifying the late Tom Anderson, a family practice doctor in Camden, Indiana, as a possible pioneer in tracing the blossoming emergence of methicillin-resistant Staphyloccus aureus to incubation in pork factories.  Anderson died at age 54 of an apparent cardiac-related death, after documenting an unexpected rise in the number of MRSA cases he encountered in close proximity to this pig-farming community.  Anderson had suffered at least three bouts of MRSA, himself, and a Dutch journal has linked swine-carried MRSA to dangerous human heart inflammation. 

Kristof also noted that a small study conducted by a University of Iowa epidemiologist found that 45 percent of pig farmers and 49 percent of pigs sampled carried the MRSA bug.   Anderson apparently treated more than 50 inflammations in a population of about 500 people.  The Dutch study found that pig farmers were more than 700 times more likely to be infected with MRSA than the general population.  On one particular farm in the Netherlands, the bug had infected three family members, three co-workers, and 8 of 10 pigs.

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