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MODERN MRSA, DOGS AND DRUGS

Barbara J. Andrews, SAAB Member

 

The in-depth study on COVID-19 patients found a high percentage of MRSA infections were related to drug use so what does this do to family dogs in 2022?

 

Do we have a record opioid problem already in 2022? Do we have people abandoning pets and even their livelihoods? Are formerly productive people living in tiny tents on city streets due to drug use? Yes. Yes. And Yes!

 

 

NIH.gov states MRSA (methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus) is “more likely to be a hospital-acquired or ventilator-associated complication…” But more significant, in 2019 the University Of Minnesota observed “The rise of community-onset MRSA infections could be linked to the ongoing opioid epidemic, noting that emerging evidence suggests a 16-fold increased risk of invasive MRSA among people who inject drugs.

 

Can your dogs or other animals catch MRSA? “Animals infected with SARS-CoV-2… became infected after contact with people with COVID-19, including owners, caretakers, or others who were in close contact.” ~ CDC.gov/Living With COVID and Animals {Ref #1}

 

MRSA has been recovered from animals including horses, dogs, cats, cows, and pigs… and in several of these cases the MRSA infection appears to result from human-to-animal transfer.” ~ Virginia.gov/MRSA And Pets {Ref #2}

 

What does MRSA infection look like in dogs? Here is a graphic example that also affects a dog’s appetite...

 

 

The “adverse effects” of MRSA, on top of COVID-19 can be catastrophic. “Bacterial co-infection in COVID-19 patients may exacerbate the immunocompromised state caused by COVID-19, further worsening clinical prognosis...” ~ Biomed Central

 

So what is MRSA and is it likely to become prevalent again? Methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus is one of the most frightening disease threats in decades. MRSA was a killer that set off an explosion of emergency room visits, literally tripling ER trips from 1.2 million in 1993 to 3.4 million in 2005.

 

Thankfully, by 2020 only 2,883 MRSA cases were recorded, down from 3,657 in 2019. However, a reduction in communicable diseases was expected due to the COVID-19 travel restrictions, limitations on social contacts and reduced number of healthcare contacts. In June 2022 such restrictions were lifted. Contagious diseases are expected to rebound.

 

Indeed, MRSA isn’t gone and as we celebrate not having to stay self-quarantined, our staff noted an obscure report on over 9,000 drug overdose deaths during the first year of the pandemic, over 30% more than the year before. So be careful when you “let loose” now.

 

Covid is reduced but other diseases are still waiting to attack. Don’t be a target. “According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about one in three people carry the staph bacteria in their nose, and two out of 100 people carry MRSA. There are more than 80,000 cases of MRSA each year, and more than 11,000 people die from these infections.” CDC Sep 12, 2016

 

 

MRSA is nothing to sneeze about… it was a lesson in what could happen to a country with its guard down. In 2022 we are financially and psychologically stressed. That is why we’re warning you to take care of yourself, your children and your dogs.

 

Early Symptoms of MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) are similar to Staph skin infections but MRSA starts with swollen, painful red bumps that can look like pimples.

 

Reference Information: {1} cdc.gov/living-with-COVID-and-animals {2} Virginia.gov/environmental-epidemiology-MRSA-and-pets

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