If you live near a pig farm and you value your health, you might be well-advised to move. Research in the Netherlands shows that your chances of being infected by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) increase when livestock operations like pig farms are in your locality.
“In the past, MRSA has been largely associated with hospitals and other health care facilities, but in the last decade the majority of infections have been acquired in the community outside of a health care setting,” says Ellen Silbergeld, Ph.D., co-author of the study and a professor with the Bloomberg School of Public Health’s department of environmental health sciences.
Staphylococcus aureus is a pathogen that can cause a range of illnesses in humans, from minor to life-threatening skin, bloodstream, respiratory, urinary and surgical site infections. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, MRSA is a type of staph bacteria that is resistant to penicillin and certain first-line antibiotics called beta-lactams.