Are you safe from MRSA?

Heard about the drug-resistant "superbug" that's been making headlines around the nation over the last few weeks? It's just more proof of what I've been saying for years: Modern medicine is just as likely to kill you as it is to save your life.

If you're wondering why I haven't jumped on this issue sooner, it's because IT'S OLD NEWS.

It's finally making headlines because MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) is turning up in schools-and has led to the death of at least one teen. In response, schools across the nation are closing their doors in order to get a scrub down.

But schools aren't the most dangerous place when it come to contracting MRSA, and kids aren't the ones most in danger of contracting it.

The most dangerous place to be-the place that has the highest rate of MRSA deaths-is the hospital. Which means if anyone has cause for alarm, it's you.

In a study (conveniently) released on Wednesday, the Journal of the American Medical Association released statistics on the numbers of Americans who contracted MRSA in 2005. According to the study, almost 95,000 Americans contracted an MRSA infection, and it killed 18,650 of them. (Didn't I tell you this was old news?)

The study also found that 58 percent of the people who died from MRSA contracted the virus in the hospital. It just makes sense: Nothing good can come of thousands of sick people being under one roof-especially with doctors running from patient to patient without bothering to wash their hands. If you're a Douglass Report subscriber, you might recall that I wrote about this very issue just a few months ago.

To recap: At any given moment, 140,000 people in developed countries are infected by doctors who haven't washed their hands. Up to 10 percent of those people die.

Bottom line: If you're even THINKING about stepping foot in the hospital for surgery, for treatment-or even just to make a phone call-it's YOUR responsibility to make sure you get out alive.