NYT References Panda’s Thumb Blogger Tara Smith

An op-ed column by Nicholas Kristof in the New York Times referenced Panda’s Thumb blogger Tara Smith. The op-ed is about the incidental evolution of a superbug in hogs given antibiotics and the health risks that now entails.

Since then, that strain of MRSA has spread rapidly through the Netherlands especially in swine-producing areas. A small Dutch study found pig farmers there were 760 times more likely than the general population to carry MRSA (without necessarily showing symptoms), and Scientific American reports that this strain of MRSA has turned up in 12 percent of Dutch retail pork samples.

Now this same strain of MRSA has also been found in the United States. A new study by Tara Smith, a University of Iowa epidemiologist, found that 45 percent of pig farmers she sampled carried MRSA, as did 49 percent of the hogs tested.

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Wesley R. Elsberry

Falconer. Interdisciplinary researcher: biology and computer science. Photographer. Husband. Christian. Activist.