Oct. 25 (Bloomberg) -- A drug-resistant germ linked to surgical wound and urinary tract infections was found on five U.S. West Coast beaches, according to scientists who said the bacteria isn't usually seen outside of hospitals.
Samples of sand and water were taken from seven public beaches and a fishing pier in the state of Washington and southern California, according to a study reported today at a meeting of infectious diseases doctors in the nation's capitol. While the level of public risk is unknown, the beaches may help transmit the germ called enterococci, study authors said.
Though enterococci hasn't reached the level of methicillin- resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, it's growing as a public-health threat and the findings suggest the germs may have moved out of hospitals and into the general population, said Marilyn Roberts, a study author,
"I think it's the tip of the iceberg," said Roberts, professor of public health at the University of Washington, Seattle, in a telephone interview. The resistant enterococci "have almost always been associated with some kind of health-care facility before."
OK, how the hell did that happen? How did it get there? Pestilential homeless people ejected from hospitals?
It now makes me wonder what the hell they'd find on the beaches of Cape Cod!