It is now more important than ever to cover your mouth when sneezing.
A flesh-eating bug, which has been known about for years, has gotten so virulent it can now be spread by sneezing and coughing. Doctors suspect new victims caught the virus on buses or trains and enclosed spaces like elevators.
Although the flesh-eating bug has been documented for several decades, most patients suffering from its effects caught the strain in hospitals where treatment contained the spread and was relatively confined and hard to catch.
But the bacteria strain, an MRSA known as USA300, has become so powerful it can now be spread by sneezing. Even worse, the virus is spreading just by shaking hands…
Doctors in the UK made the alarming announcement, but are blaming the evolved bug on a strain originally discovered in the US, where it is still afflicting unsuspecting victims.
In the past, the virus required a biological environment to thrive, but this new strain can lie dormant on metal surfaces, like handrails, and be picked up and transferred hand to hand. Once it is inhaled into the lungs, it can attack the spongy membranes or even afflict the heart.
This is terrible. When the Bird Flu hysteria hit the States a decade ago, people became much more aware, and intolerant of, careless strangers not covering their mouths while coughing or sneezing. Something which was tolerated or even ignored suddenly became a sore point. Many people took to wearing masks while in public.
Still, that virus was usually spread only during flu season and was generally treatable by a vaccination. Fears of its spread turned out to be overblown and never truly got out of control.
This new strain of flesh-eating bug is much harder to control and is spread more easily. Tolerance for the rude people who don’t see sneezing in public as a taboo may be in for a lot of grief from an intolerant public.