Mysterious Skin Disease Affecting Maine Island

This 2005 scanning electron micrograph (SEM) depicted numerous clumps of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteria, commonly referred to by the acronym, MRSA; Magnified 4780x. Courtesy Wikipedia.

The Associated Press and South Coast Today are reporting on a strain of a drug-resistant skin disease that has afflicted sports teams, prisons and military units is now proving a persistent pest among lobstermen and their families on a Maine island.

Over the past 2 summers, more than 30 people on Vinalhaven have come down with painful and persistent skin infections that required repeated treatments with intravenous antibiotics for some of the victims — but medical authorities say lobster lovers need not worry.

There’s no indication that the germ is linked to lobsters, and boiling or steaming them would kill any bacteria that infected fishermen who handle them might leave behind, said Dr. Stephen Sears, Maine state epidemiologist.

To read more: