North Dealing With Troublesome Bacteria

Friday, October 06, 2006 at 14:33



An antibiotic-resistant bacteria has been making its presence felt in many northern Saskatchewan communities the last few years.


Northern medical health officer Dr. James Irvine says it’s a cousin of MRSA, which was recently detected in a health facility in Regina.


Irvine says the northern strain typically results in skin infections that produce lesions, boils and small absesses.


Irvine says MRSA only started re-emerging in northern communities in recent years after dying down a decade ago.


He estimates between a third and a half of northern communities have had some sort of exposure to the bacteria, although he notes it’s less antibiotic-resistant than the strain found in hospital settings.


He says the incorrect use of antibiotics has made treating the ailment a lot more difficult — but adds this is a North American issue.


Irvine is part of a committee of health officials looking at ways to get a handle on the problem.