Saturday, 11 April 2009

MRSA - The law of unintended consequences.

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In January 2008, Gordon Brown, British PM, after some confusion, announced MRSA screening for patients on entry to hospitals for elective surgery, to take effect as soon as possible.

He was on TV two days running, making minor corrections on the second occasion.

That seemed perverse, even at the time.

For cost and practicality, the proven Dutch model of thoroughly screening veterinarians, pig and pork workers, would have been preferable.

The Dutch model could been implemented faster and would have saved many lives. It also would have helped stop spread.

But it would have meant an admission that the government veterinary terror squads had caused an international disaster.

Anyway non-descriminatery screening sounds better, especially when you would have to discriminate against the vets currently going from farm to farm spreading disease.

Vets being taken aside for special measures would have alerted the media.

The law of unintended consequences has struck.

It applies to MRSA specifically, but has echoes to all other pig and livestock related diseases.

Screening has just come in for most NHS trusts with all the bally-hoo you would expect.

Recently, I spotted an unusual remark from Ipswich.

"IPSWICH Hospital is winning the war on superbugs today, but in the community the battle is faltering."

Prof. Pennington is admitting community acquired C.Diff rises in Grampian, Scotland

The Chief Medical Officer is talking about the problems of livestock related disease.

The penny has dropped.

Up to the present, it has been very easy for NHS trusts to massage the figures for MRSA or C.Diff by marking them down as "Community Acquired" and failing to mention these cases in their reports.

Livestock related disease was falling into a black hole of non-reporting, as hospitals struggled to deal with the consequences.

Universal screening, prior to elective surgery, not only wrecks that scam, but it actually puts it into reverse.

MRSA screening by a quick nasal swab (which is what is being used)fails to pick up 30 percent. Those 30 percent are now going to turn up in the "hospital acquired" figures.

What are our PR bunnies and their over paid bosses going to do? The change is going to wreck their plans and careers.

They could come out and blame pigs.

They could wait for bad figures and try to explain. That will finger pigs too, indirectly, but will come later.

They could start preparing the ground as Ipswich were doing this week.

They will probably do all three in different places and different times.

Now the general situation is going from bad to worse especially in Britain and Canada, with the United States now following. Frankly, we now face a series of livestock related human epidemics.

All our literature from the shabby to the superb has long prophesied scientists starting a pandemic and, oddly, the governments covering it up in a world of constant surveillance, totalitarianism and personal intimidation under the guise of "Let's not start a panic."

It looks like it's here. We all must have wondered what one would do in such a "theoretical" possibility.

Now, we will all find out.