Northern Health Officials Monitoring Superbug

Thursday, January 11, 2007 at 13:41



Cramped living quarters and too much antibiotic use could be helping fuel a new type of infection, according to a northern physician.


Dr. James Irvine, the chief medical health officer for northern Saskatchewan, says a so-called “superbug” that has been causing problems in other parts of North America is also making its presence felt in the North.


MRSA is a type of infection that can cause large, boil-like lesions on the body and sometimes lead to pneumonia.


Irvine says, on rare occasions, it can also lead to flesh-eating disease.


The condition is treatable and can be prevented.


Irvine says residents sharing towels and clothing can put themselves at risk of spreading the condition.


He also says overuse of antibiotics could also be a contributor to its increased prevalence.


Irvine says the North sees around 400 cases each year, but it is far from being an epidemic.