A DEADLY new form of MRSA is believed to be spreading from farm animals to humans – already the bacteria has been found in hospitals abroad.
It is the first time the bug has spread in this way and experts believe excessive use of antibiotics in factory-farmed animals may be behind its development.
“Farm animal” MRSA, as it is known, can cause a raft of illnesses including skin infections, pneumonia, bone infections and endocarditis.
The revelation raises fears about viruses and bugs moving from animals to humans in the way that Avian flu infected humans from poultry.
The new MRSA bug, known as ST398, could reach hospitals in the UK, causing serious illness and death among vulnerable patients.
The bug is not only in the animals but also in slaughtered meat. Scientists believe one way it could get into the UK is through contact with raw meat during food preparation.