Flesh-eating bug spread by sneezes and coughs
Coughing and sneezing on crowded trains and buses can spread deadly flesh-eating superbugs, commuters are being warned.
By Fred Attewill
2nd January 2012
The bacteria are more virulent than the infamous hospital MRSA, can affect otherwise healthy people and are spreading across Britain.
They can be transmitted through skin-to-skin contact and hugging as well as sneezing and coughing.
One strain, called USA300, can lead to blood poisoning or a form of pneumonia that eats away at lung tissue.
The bacteria are usually resistant to several types of antibiotics and can cause large boils on the skin.
Chris Williams, professor of molecular genetics at the University of Birmingham, said: ‘It breaks down tissue. If it gets into your heart, bacteria can get into your bloodstream and take hold of different parts of your body. That could lead to death quite easily.’
The dangers of the ‘community- acquired’ superbugs are raised in a new study, examining the way they spread. Researcher Dr Ruth Massey said USA300 was ‘causing huge problems in America and is being reported here increasingly’.