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View Full Version : What Staph needs is a good PR machine


nbs2
Oct 17, 2007, 10:31 AM
So, with all the fuss that people make over AIDS and the War in Iraq and other causes of death which are responsible for many American deaths, but less than 18,650 per year, a drug-resistant staph bacteria (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/10/16/AR2007101601392_pf.html) seems to have slipped through the cracks.

What does it take to get some respect in this country? I don't have the emotional attachment of losing someone close to this or AIDS, so from a numbers standpoint I'd gladly allow 10 more years of AIDS deaths if it meant that this were completely eliminated right now.

mactastic
Oct 17, 2007, 10:37 AM
I saw this yesterday. Pretty creepy.

Of course, AIDS awareness has been in the works for over 20 years now. Give stapholococus that long in the spotlight before you decide it's a liberal conspiricy to cover it up.

leekohler
Oct 17, 2007, 10:50 AM
This has been around for a while. I think it's actually gotten quite a bit of attention, especially here in Chicago. There have been outbreaks in hospitals and such. My roommate has a co-worker who got it. She's OK, but it was not a fun thing to go through.

nbs2
Oct 17, 2007, 11:21 AM
I saw this yesterday. Pretty creepy.

Of course, AIDS awareness has been in the works for over 20 years now. Give stapholococus that long in the spotlight before you decide it's a liberal conspiricy to cover it up.

I don't see any conspiracy - I just see a whole lot of other issues that seem to get greater press over their "high death rates" but which are lower. Sort of like how cell phones in cars have a (deservedly) bad reputation, but radio-fiddling is quickly glossed over in driver's ed and then forgotten.

This has been around for a while. I think it's actually gotten quite a bit of attention, especially here in Chicago. There have been outbreaks in hospitals and such. My roommate has a co-worker who got it. She's OK, but it was not a fun thing to go through.

I'm glad that it's getting attention there and the co-worker is doing ok. I had heard bits, but no real press until this article.

mactastic
Oct 17, 2007, 11:30 AM
I don't see any conspiracy - I just see a whole lot of other issues that seem to get greater press over their "high death rates" but which are lower. Sort of like how cell phones in cars have a (deservedly) bad reputation, but radio-fiddling is quickly glossed over in driver's ed and then forgotten.
Oh please. Your comparison with AIDS (and only AIDS) was quite deliberate.

Are you suggesting that everything should be apportioned according to need?

nbs2
Oct 17, 2007, 11:35 AM
Oh please. Your comparison with AIDS (and only AIDS) was quite deliberate.

Are you suggesting that everything should be apportioned according to need?

No - just suggesting that if the death rate for one disease is 50% higher than another, maybe the one with the higher rate merits more attention that it is getting. But, lee makes me think that it isn't everywhere that it is being relatively ignored.

And yes, my comparison with AIDS was quite deliberate - RTFA:
The researchers calculated that MRSA was striking 31.8 out of every 100,000 Americans, which translates to 94,360 cases and 18,650 deaths nationwide. In comparison, complications from the AIDS virus killed about 12,500 Americans in 2005.

Unless, of course, you believe that TWP is part of the vast conservative conspiracy to promulgate a liberal conspiracy.:rolleyes:

mactastic
Oct 17, 2007, 11:40 AM
No - just suggesting that if the death rate for one disease is 50% higher than another, maybe the one with the higher rate merits more attention that it is getting. But, lee makes me think that it isn't everywhere that it is being relatively ignored.

And yes, my comparison with AIDS was quite deliberate - RTFA:
Ooo... nicely concealed flaunting of the forum rules.

I did RTFA BTW. What do you think AIDS deaths would be without the public awareness and drug improvements? You think it might possibly be as high as staph deaths in such a case?

And yes, it sounds like you don't find the lack of attention paid to staph infections adequate, and you feel that, according to it's need, staph should be given more attention.

If such is the case, why don't you take some personal responsibility and go out there and do something about it, rather than simply sitting on a computer and complaining?

nbs2
Oct 17, 2007, 11:50 AM
I did RTFA BTW. What do you think AIDS deaths would be without the public awareness and drug improvements? You think it might possibly be as high as staph deaths in such a case?

It could have been much higher. Fortunately, we'll never know. But, isn't that all the more reason to look more closely at the staph issue now? At no point did I argue that AIDS shouldn't have been focused on or should it be forgotten. But, focussing on a single issue to the detriment of a rising issue is folly.

Looking at the numbers on their own, and ignoring treatment improvements or the lack thereof, 180k people is a lot more than 125k.

mactastic
Oct 17, 2007, 11:56 AM
It could have been much higher. Fortunately, we'll never know. But, isn't that all the more reason to look more closely at the staph issue now? At no point did I argue that AIDS shouldn't have been focused on or should it be forgotten. But, focussing on a single issue to the detriment of a rising issue is folly.

Looking at the numbers on their own, and ignoring treatment improvements or the lack thereof, 180k people is a lot more than 125k.
How many people are killed by cancer each year? Does that mean we're not doing enough cancer research? How many people are killed by heart disease? Car crashes? Handguns?

I suppose we should apportion funding based on the number of people something kills, no matter how much grass roots effort private organizations put into any particular disease.

Of course, since "only" a thousand or so soldiers were killed last year, that would put them damn near last on the list of funding for protective equipment etc. Just based purely on the numbers of course.

Badandy
Oct 17, 2007, 12:14 PM
Ooo... nicely concealed flaunting of the forum rules.

I did RTFA BTW. What do you think AIDS deaths would be without the public awareness and drug improvements? You think it might possibly be as high as staph deaths in such a case?

And yes, it sounds like you don't find the lack of attention paid to staph infections adequate, and you feel that, according to it's need, staph should be given more attention.

If such is the case, why don't you take some personal responsibility and go out there and do something about it, rather than simply sitting on a computer and complaining?

And you are jumping on the original poster why? All I saw was the original poster present an illness that kills more people per year than AIDS (which is highly publicized), yet gets less attention. I didn't see anything partisan in that. If I missed it, point me in the right direction.

mactastic
Oct 17, 2007, 12:18 PM
And you are jumping on the original poster why? All I saw was the original poster present an illness that kills more people per year than AIDS (which is highly publicized), yet gets less attention. I didn't see anything partisan in that. If I missed it, point me in the right direction.
The OP has a history of posts subtly insinuating something he won't come right out and say. I'm calling him on it. You are relatively new here, so you don't know the past history regarding this OP.

BTW nbs2, where did your post about Chelsea Clinton running to her lawyer daddy go? I was looking for it earlier, and it seems to have been purged...

Ugg
Oct 17, 2007, 12:42 PM
It could have been much higher. Fortunately, we'll never know. But, isn't that all the more reason to look more closely at the staph issue now? At no point did I argue that AIDS shouldn't have been focused on or should it be forgotten. But, focussing on a single issue to the detriment of a rising issue is folly.

Looking at the numbers on their own, and ignoring treatment improvements or the lack thereof, 180k people is a lot more than 125k.

Had it not been for massive amounts of funding for AIDS research and global awareness and prevention campaigns, the death rate from AIDS would have been much, much higher. You can't have it both ways.

MRSA is a problem that occurs in hospitals and nursing homes. It's also mostly preventable. However, it's boring for the right wing fundamentalists. Who are they going to protest against? The lack of directives from the NIH? Lack of hospital cleanliness? Lack of moral fiber amongst nurses and doctors who don't wash their hands between patients?

I agree that it needs more attention, but using AIDS to compare it with is extremely simplistic. Comparing a socially acquired disease with one that's caused by a lack of cleanliness in public health care facilities is silly.

Comparing it to cancer is probably a better bet. Cancer rates would plummet if the government would ban all the chemicals known to cause cancer. Why aren't you screaming about that issue?

aquajet
Oct 17, 2007, 12:46 PM
It could have been much higher. Fortunately, we'll never know. But, isn't that all the more reason to look more closely at the staph issue now? At no point did I argue that AIDS shouldn't have been focused on or should it be forgotten. But, focussing on a single issue to the detriment of a rising issue is folly.

Now that the numbers are in, hopefully more attention will be paid. And perhaps more discussion will ensue about the overuse of antibiotics these days as well.

You must keep in mind, however, that AIDS has all sorts of controversy attached to it. For example, we don't typically hear from religious leaders about how the west is attempting to kill everybody in Africa by infecting condoms with staph.

Looking at the numbers on their own, and ignoring treatment improvements or the lack thereof, 180k people is a lot more than 125k.

I don't know the global statistics regarding staph (a quick search didn't really yield anything), but last year, about 40 million people were living with AIDS worldwide, and nearly three million died from it. I wonder if staph numbers approach that.

At no point did I argue that AIDS shouldn't have been focused on or should it be forgotten.

You certainly seemed to imply it in your first post by suggesting you don't care too much about ten more years of AIDS-related deaths if it could mean eliminating staph today. I mean, as long as we're talking about folly...

If that's not what you really meant, then you ought to think twice about toddling on provocative language next time.

nbs2
Oct 17, 2007, 01:11 PM
You certainly seemed to imply it in your first post by suggesting you don't care too much about ten more years of AIDS-related deaths if it could mean eliminating staph today. I mean, as long as we're talking about folly...

If that's not what you really meant, then you ought to think twice about toddling on provocative language next time.

If that was how it came off, I apologize. My point was that if one of the two could be wiped off the face of the earth today, and the cost was that we would not see any advancement in prevention or treatment of the other for 10 years, 60k lives would make staph the better alternative.

AIDS was vilified for so long (and among some, still is), that you have to wonder how many deaths can be attributed to the decision to ignore it. If we have taken it seriously from the beginning, maybe we would be discussing AIDS the way we discuss genital herpes. Yet, that ignorance has been, to a large extent, overcome in many nations. Now that we are making progress on AIDS, shouldn't we begin to pay attention to other killers, especially larger killers? Diverting public attention to other issues doesn't mean that the older issues are still not relevant.

I see the death rates for diseases like malaria and wonder where the pink and red ribbons for those are - that's all.

In the end, I suppose I have nobody but myself to blame for turning this into an AIDS discussion. I decided to point to the numbers that the article pointed to, and not find another disease that has a lower death rate.

mactastic
Oct 17, 2007, 01:18 PM
There have also been more successes with AIDS in terms of treatment and prevention options. The problem, particularly with MRSA, is that it is resistant to the know treatments. In addition, the overuse of antibiotics has contributed to the problem.

So I don't think it's an issue of not doing the necessary work on Staph versus doing the necessary work on AIDS. The issue seems to be that one has been more successful than the other, and not because of a lack of resources; although I haven't been very successful in locating a comprehensive source of total staph research funding either privately or from the government.

If you work on two problems simultaneously, yet make more progress on one than on the other, it doesn't mean due dilligence isn't being done on both.

pseudobrit
Oct 18, 2007, 01:58 AM
My point was that if one of the two could be wiped off the face of the earth today, and the cost was that we would not see any advancement in prevention or treatment of the other for 10 years, 60k lives would make staph the better alternative.

"If"

Well, we don't get to apply theoretical situations quite so neatly in the real world, and diseases and the medical and social conditions surrounding their treatment and research are subject to myriad differences and details.

Perhaps a touch of sensitivity to the real world with its real people would have gone a long way toward your not coming off as resenting the attention that AIDS victims receive.

Ugg
Oct 18, 2007, 10:27 AM
Now that we are making progress on AIDS, shouldn't we begin to pay attention to other killers, especially larger killers? Diverting public attention to other issues doesn't mean that the older issues are still not relevant.
.

You're saying that AIDS has diverted money and attention from other medical issues, and that's simply not true. Bill and Melinda Gates have funded a Malarial Vaccine that seems to work! Many hospitals have taken action against MRSA.

Health care isn't a vacuum where all money gets thrown at a single disease.

I still really don't understand what your point is here. You keep meandering yet always come back to harp on all the attention that AIDS is given.

Naimfan
Oct 18, 2007, 10:39 AM
Hopefully the study will raise awareness of both how widespread MRSA is AND how simple some of the steps to prevent it are (many of which are already "standard procedure," if only everyone followed it).

Ugg--I agree with you somewhat, but money invested in HIV/AIDS research is, definitionally, not available for research on other ailments. It's a values question--what are we as a society going to invest our (relatively scarce) research funds in? From what I do know of HIV/AIDS, I think it's very difficult to argue that the money spent on research was not well spent--I think it was. But when money is allocated to AIDS/HIV, it is not available for research on MS, cancers, MD, and so on.

Ugg
Oct 18, 2007, 10:51 AM
Hopefully the study will raise awareness of both how widespread MRSA is AND how simple some of the steps to prevent it are (many of which are already "standard procedure," if only everyone followed it).

Ugg--I agree with you somewhat, but money invested in HIV/AIDS research is, definitionally, not available for research on other ailments. It's a values question--what are we as a society going to invest our (relatively scarce) research funds in? From what I do know of HIV/AIDS, I think it's very difficult to argue that the money spent on research was not well spent--I think it was. But when money is allocated to AIDS/HIV, it is not available for research on MS, cancers, MD, and so on.

Medical research isn't a vacuum. AIDS research and the resulting medications were used to treat SARS. It's also helped expand African health care. I agree that most research into a disease only helps a specific disease, but there are many instances where specific research tends to have a broad impact.

It seems that a certain amount of complacency exists regarding AIDS. It's not the world's biggest killer but in Africa it's at the top of the list. MRSA is probably a very small issue for many Africans. There are many more diseases that affect them on a daily basis.

What you're saying essentially, is that MRSA needs more funding in the US because it's been proven to be a major killer. That's fine, but MRSA is mostly a case of hygiene. It's already been shown that health care facilities that take hygiene seriously have much better outcomes. Why throw money at studying something that we already know the answer to?

Naimfan
Oct 18, 2007, 11:09 AM
Actually, no. I don't mean to suggest that MRSA research needs more funding. First, I have no idea what funding level it has. Second, from talking with my doctor friends and reading about it, MRSA can be reduced significantly by simply following existing protocols--proper handwashing, proper cleaning, etc. Sorry if I gave the impression I think it should be funded more.

I agree completely with you regarding complacency around AIDS/HIV. As well as your statement that research into a particular disease many times offers benefits that are not limited to just the disease in question.


Medical research isn't a vacuum. AIDS research and the resulting medications were used to treat SARS. It's also helped expand African health care. I agree that most research into a disease only helps a specific disease, but there are many instances where specific research tends to have a broad impact.

It seems that a certain amount of complacency exists regarding AIDS. It's not the world's biggest killer but in Africa it's at the top of the list. MRSA is probably a very small issue for many Africans. There are many more diseases that affect them on a daily basis.

What you're saying essentially, is that MRSA needs more funding in the US because it's been proven to be a major killer. That's fine, but MRSA is mostly a case of hygiene. It's already been shown that health care facilities that take hygiene seriously have much better outcomes. Why throw money at studying something that we already know the answer to?

leekohler
Oct 18, 2007, 11:30 AM
Actually, no. I don't mean to suggest that MRSA research needs more funding. First, I have no idea what funding level it has. Second, from talking with my doctor friends and reading about it, MRSA can be reduced significantly by simply following existing protocols--proper handwashing, proper cleaning, etc. Sorry if I gave the impression I think it should be funded more.

I agree completely with you regarding complacency around AIDS/HIV. As well as your statement that research into a particular disease many times offers benefits that are not limited to just the disease in question.

What's happening in Africa is frightening right now. We could see entire sections of that continent destroyed due to AIDS in just short of a decade. The problem there is that serious. Unfortunately I don't see much progress being made. I think we could be witnessing the beginning of end of entire countries there. It's unbelievably sad.