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Posted Sat Sep 12 2009: from AP, via NYT:
Dangerous Staph Germs Found at West Coast Beaches
Dangerous staph bacteria have been found in sand and water for the first time at five public beaches along the coast of Washington, and scientists think the state is not the only one with this problem. The germ is MRSA, or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus -- a hard-to-treat bug once rarely seen outside of hospitals but that increasingly is spreading in ordinary community settings such as schools, locker rooms and gyms. The germ causes nasty skin infections as well as pneumonia and other life-threatening problems. It spreads mostly through human contact. Little is known about environmental sources that also may harbor the germ.... In the new study, researchers tested 10 beaches in Washington along the West Coast and in Puget Sound from February to September 2008. Staph bacteria were found at nine of them, including five with MRSA. The strains resembled the highly resistant ones usually seen in hospitals, rather than the milder strains acquired in community settings, Roberts said.... "Make sure you get all the sand off," and cover any open cuts or scrapes before playing in the sand, Roberts added.
[Read more stories about: antibiotic resistance, pharmwater, toxic water]

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'Doc Michael says:
We all know how easy getting beach sand off is!

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