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Are Factory Farms causing MRSA, and the Flesh Eating Disease?

Updated on February 23, 2015

The flesh eating disease otherwise known as necrotizing fascitis causes the deaths of 18,000 Americans a year. That's more than the AIDS virus! Lately, this disease has become headline news. What is this terrifying disease! Where did it come from and how can it be stopped?

What is MRSA, and this flesh eating disease?

MRSA stands for Ethicillin-Resistant Staphyloccus Aureus; it is an infection caused by staph bacteria that has become resistant to antibiotics used to treat it. Necrotizing fascitis is rare but MRSA isn't. MRSA may cause necrotizing fascitis otherwise known as the Flesh Eating Disease but MRSA is not the disease itself. A study done at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center and Denver Health Medical Center between the years 2004 and 2006 revealed that out of 30 cases of necrotizing fascitis 5 were caused by MRSA. MRSA was discovered in the early 1960s but has grown considerably since.

I personally had never heard of the disease until about 10 years ago when a relative of a co-worker was hospitalized with it in Portland, Oregon. Apparently most cases occur after someone has been to a hospital or care facility, this type of MRSA is called Health Care Associated MRSA or HA-MRSA and is commonly treated with surgery and/or amputation. There is another type of MRSA that is spread by skin to skin contact among healthy people. This type of CA-MRSA or community associated MRSA can be found in schools and among crowded living conditions and often begins as a skin boil. According to the Mayo Clinic Staph bacteria are found in approximately 1/3 of the population and are most often harmless. However, when enter the blood through a cut or wound they can cause skin problems which are usually minor in healthy people.

The current treatment for a severe case of MRSA is amputation. Furthermore, there have been several, recent cases of young, healthy people in the news who have suffered multiple amputations and have succumbed to this dreadful disease.

What causes MRSA? Well, that has not been settled. The current hypothesis include the Mayo Clinics explanation of an overuse of antibiotics. However, some people have surmised that the use of antibiotics in our food supply is the main culprit while the overuse of antibiotics by doctors further exasperates the problem.


In the 1940s farmers began treating their livestock with antibiotics. It was soon discovered that if you fed antibiotics to your chickens, pigs and cows on a regular basis that the animals would get fatter quicker and with less feed. In order to compete with the other factory farms farmers started feeding their animals antibiotics everyday! And as we all know by now, the more antibiotics one takes whether through a prescription or through eating antibiotic laden meat and dairy the more resistant one gets. As a side note I also wonder if eating all this antibiotic laden meat has contributed to the obesity epidemic in America..I mean if large doses of antibiotics cause animals to get fat while eating less, wouldn't that do the same in humans? Where are the scientific studies on this?

Researchers in Denmark and Britain studied several farms in Denmark and have concluded that there is a clear connection between antibiotics administered to factory farms and antibiotic resistant bacteria in humans (see link below).


I think it's time to start returning to the past. By that I mean we have to start eating food that we grow in our own gardens and purchasing meat and dairy products from local farmers that don't use antibiotics to fatten up their livestock. It is quite obvious that we cannot depend upon our government to provide safe food or even accurate information when so much of the time our politicians are paid off by corporations and big pharma. Going back to a simpler way of life may be difficult at first but I think it will benefit us all in the long run.

Additionally, we need to stop giving our children antibiotics for every cough, sneeze and tickle. Natural methods are available for such things as ear infections and fevers. For example did you know that putting a few drops of olive oil into an infected ear overnight can completely cure an earache? That garlic is a natural antibiotic. Also, such practices as oil pulling can greatly reduce the incidents of infection. Oil pulling is the practice of swishing about a tablespoon of coconut oil in ones mouth for a period of time ranging from 10 minutes to an hour and then spitting the solution out. The oil adheres to bacteria thereby removing it when you spit it out of your mouth. Gargling with salt water afterwards helps to remove the oily residue and that also helps to remove bacteria and infections. Not only will this method help stave off infection but it will also keep you from getting cavities and whiten your teeth naturally and healthfully. There are many such methods that have been used for thousands of years that if used habitually can greatly reduce dependence on antibiotics.

We must start thinking outside the box and stop depending upon "Big Pharma" and "Big Government" for our information and solutions.


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    • Brie Hoffman profile image

      Brie Hoffman 3 years ago from Manhattan

      You should also start oil pulling. Google it. Thanks for commenting.

    • Suzanne Day profile image

      Suzanne Day 3 years ago from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

      Enjoyed reading this, though the yukky finger picture up the top is mesmerising, yet gruesome. Frankenfoods are horrible, I recently switched from supermarket fruit and veg to a greengrocer's and have noticed a dramatic difference in my health, cutting out the need for additional antibiotics. At present the trend in Australia for alternative therapies includes taking olive leaf extract for colds, using oxygen therapies and definitely salt water gargles. Taking in enough macronutrients and getting exercise are also keys to good health. Thanks for the info on MRSA and voted interesting!

    • shyonegb profile image

      shyonegb 3 years ago from Australia

      Hi Brie

      Great Hub. There is an alternative solution for MRSA. Have you heard of Manuka Honey? A study has shown that Manuka honey can fight back on two fronts. Not only can it help to kill MRSA and other superbugs, it can also prevent bacteria from becoming resistant to antibiotics. The higher the grade the better.