Opinion

MRSA panic should have been expected

The Kitsap County Health District knows better than anyone that as soon as you mention an illness or infection is unresponsive to antibiotics, panic will undoubtedly ensue.

It’s human nature. We as a civilization fear the unknown and we rely almost entirely on medication to make us well. And when something begins to spread, even slightly, that cannot be cured by some wonder drug, the first reaction is fear.

Kitsap County Health District Director and Health Officer Scott Lindquist is urging everyone to take this MRSA (Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus) craze in stride. That’s easy to say when you know for sure exactly what it is and how to treat it. The infection has taken on a nickname of “Superbug” which health officials are trying to downplay. The moniker is being blamed on the media. Regardless of who started spreading this “Superbug” hype, people are still going to be frightened no matter how many times you tell them it’s a “harmless colonizer of the human body.” That’s not going to sink in. What’s going to work is actively spreading the message of prevention.

Let’s not dwell on who called it what and the predictable semi-hysteria that surrounded this outbreak of MRSA — which should have been expected from the beginning. Instead, the focus should be on how to prevent this from spreading even more in our local school district.

We applaud Central Kitsap School District officials for immediately sending home notices to parents explaining the situation and more importantly, how to prevent it.

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