MRSA is of course a serious problem in the UK, but the media have paid it much more attention than other countries, causing us to panic as usual.
A good example of this is that between the years 1997-2007, the USA published 177 articles about MRSA in their papers, whilst the UK wrote 4,300 articles.
Much of the UK newspaper coverage centres on individual’s stories, about young children or celebrities contracting a hospital infection. But the typical victims of MRSA are actually the elderly and the very ill which tend to be missing.
Concentrating on young and relatively healthy victims encourages the public to see the infection as something we should all be afraid of, clever media stuff!
So what about the media’s focus on the cleanliness of our hospitals?
Well whilst hospital cleaning is part of the answer, so is the reduction of antibiotics, which is regarded as one of the most effective ways of reducing MRSA.
The media should of course tell the whole story about MRSA, but that wouldn’t sell nearly as many papers would it!