Rare Diseases on the Rise

By: Janet Kim Email
By: Janet Kim Email

Deadly swine flu is sweeping the nation, and Kentucky officials are working around the clock to fight the flu before it hits here.

However, the swine flu is just one recent infectious disease plaguing the U.S. Other communicable diseases are also hitting the area, like MRSA and Shigellosis, with the number of cases rising.

"Certainly mobility of international cultures do allow for more sharing of germs," says Dr. William Hacker, Kentucky's Commissioner for Public Health.

MRSA and Shigellosis are bacteria infections. MRSA is bacteria that sits on one's skin, and Shigellosis is bacteria found in the stool, usually diarrhea. In March, a Jessamine County student died from MRSA. Just last week, an outbreak of shigellosis was found in an Eastern Kentucky school.

But in general, are Americans becoming more vulnerable to disease?

"We're certainly getting less healthy as a society, not the way you asked, but we're overweight, we're inactive, we're not physically fit and too many of us smoke," says Hacker.

Medical experts say while infectious diseases are spreading, good hygiene will often hold the key to good health.


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