Gaza Health Ministry denies drug-resistant bacteria rampant in the Strip
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Gaza Health Ministry denies drug-resistant bacteria rampant in the Strip

Announcement follows Haaretz report on Palestinian-Israeli study detailing bacterium that causes skin abscesses and infections

Magnified 20,000X, this colorized scanning electron micrograph (SEM) depicts a grouping of methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteria. (Courtesy Janice Carr/Public Health Image Library PHIL)
Magnified 20,000X, this colorized scanning electron micrograph (SEM) depicts a grouping of methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteria. (Courtesy Janice Carr/Public Health Image Library PHIL)

Gaza’s Health Ministry denied a report that a drug-resistant superbug was widespread throughout the Strip, the Ma’an news agency reported Monday.

Haaretz reported Sunday that a joint Israeli-Palestinian research team found a unique strain of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, MRSA, a drug-resistant bacterium, to be common in the Gaza Strip. It is thought that the bacterium developed rapidly and became antibiotic-resistant in the Strip.

People infected with the MRSA bacterium display symptoms including skin abscesses and infections. Six hundred Gaza residents were tested in the study — 300 children and 300 of their parents — and 15 percent were found to carry the bacterium, the report detailed.

It’s also thought that the bacteria may spread easily from person to person through animals, specifically cats.

According to the Ma’an report, Gaza Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qedreh said there was no deadly bacterium nor virus in Gaza and the report was an Israeli attempt to destroy the Strip’s health security.

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