Sunday, May 18, 2008

"Now, if I were to bet on this issue - it will take a major outbreak before anyone cares. Then everyone will want to file lawsuits. How sad - how very, very sad. "

What follows was originally published on MZ’ Bloggin as one of my guests posts. It subsequently appeared in the Herald. This morning in the Herald we learn we are now in crisis mode when dealing with multi-drug resistant bacteria. Amazing to me is the Herald chose to not even comment on the primary cause for super-bugs - antibiotics and in the case of the LRGV the overuse of antibiotics because of their relatively easy access to same in Mexico. Another "F" for Herald reporting.

People, my gym, World Gym, remains a disaster in the men’s locker room. It is a lawsuit waiting to happen. I become angry every day as I watch people who leave their sweat on the equipment. They simply refuse to use a workout towel. The locker room although cleaned once a day is a disaster by late afternoon. There is no doubt in my mind that the locker room of every gym in Brownsville is the same. The lawsuit against BISD is coming - the locker rooms are a mess. BISD refuses to mandate that the children take showers after gym.

I warned in my original piece that we needed to stop the importation of antibiotics from Mexico. True to form our city commission, county commission, and incredibly inept statewide leadership have each done nothing to resolve this crisis. Three months ago it was pending - it is here now. If you remained silent, and you come to learn your grandmother is now sick, or your child contracted one of these superbugs at the daycare - just remember - you gave it to them.

My original piece follows:

"MRSA USA300. Like its less antibiotic-resistant sibling, the new multi-drug resistant microbe spreads easily through skin-to-skin contact, invading skin and tissue beneath the skin. Both strains cause abscesses and ulcerations that can progress rapidly to life-threatening infections"
"A good scrubbing with soap and water may be the most effective way to prevent skin-to-skin contact transmission, especially after sexual activities." Source: --- Tuesday,
January 22, 2008 - AFP - The drug-resistant "superbugs" that have cut a swathe through day care centers, schools, locker rooms and prisons across the United States in the last five years stem from one rapidly Evolving Bacterium, US scientists said Monday. ..

All of the above are from articles which can be found on the internet. Why do I care about this? For now far too many people are claiming this to be another gay disease. It is not. It is not transmitted through sex - it is transmitted through skin to skin contact which occurs during sex or any other form of touching a child, mother, wife etc.

In Brownsville and Cameron County public health is a joke. I have complained to the point of being blue in the face about the city’s refusal to enforce the health code in public gyms. After three years of loyalty to my former gym I moved to a new gym over the issue of the locker room always being dirty. The owner of the gym made it clear that the locker room was not her concern.

I have spoken with enough people at my new gym to know that the owner of my new gym also considers the locker room to be a problem child he will not address. You cannot have women cleaning a men’s locker room. Every time they get started men need the locker room so they never finish. (Locker rooms must be cleaned a minimum of twice a day)

Unfortunately, the City of Brownsville has resolved that the spread of MRSA USA300, is just something that will have to happen because they will not enforce the public health laws at the gyms. People - this bacterium spreads from mere contact with another person’s skin. Since high school I have always worked out with a towel which I place on the equipment before I work out.
In fact my work out partner and I have separate towels.

It does not end with the city doing its job. The gym owners need to suspend the membership of customers who sit in the steam room naked - no towel nothing. At my old gym we had this 400 pound hair ball who would sit all over the locker room naked while cruising everyone in the locker room - not a pretty view. Then of course there were the people who showered and shaved in the steam room. Complaints to the owner were ignored.

Next are our school gyms. I am sorry that we have raised a generation of people who are ashamed of their bodies and who have sexualized their bodies. I remember 7th grade first day of gym. The gym teacher asked us if we had a best friend in the class. He then partnered us to share lockers. He then said everyone strip and into a jock strap. You know after the first day no one cared about how we looked naked. You know what else - we went back to class clean and smelling nice.

Here in Brownsville and Los Fresnos they are sending the children back to class covered in bacteria and germs they contracted in the locker room, because the parents are all upset that little Juanito will be upset if he has to be naked in the locker room. I wonder who these parents are going to sue when Juanito comes home with MRSA USA300 rotting his body. Parents who teach their children to respect their body at age 12 will be teaching their children to respect their bodies at age 25. They will also be teaching their children the importance of feeling good about their body instead of shame. I am looking forward to the first teacher who sues BISD because a smelly bacteria infected child was allowed into the classroom.

I always know who at my gym is a veteran or played high school sports. We are all very comfortable in a very non-sexual way being naked in the locker room. It is sad that because of parents who are sexualizing their body and the body of their children that children are not being taught the importance of cleanliness and are potentially going to be exposed to MRSA USA300.
This is a health issue. The city needs to crack down on the gyms. BISD and LCISD need to mandate showers after gym. They can turn it into an educational event by teaching cleanliness. How many boys because of poorly educated parents have no idea how to clean their foreskin and gland. For your viewing -

We can turn a blind eye or get on top of this now. The odds are that the city will wait for a lawsuit such as will BISD and LFCISD. I know for a fact a baseball player at UTB has already contracted MRSA USA300. UTB needs to do a better job in disinfecting its locker rooms.
One last issue - Mayor Ahumada and County Judge Cascos need to take the lead on this public health issue and demand enforcement of both city and county health laws related to public bathrooms and gyms. They also need to demand that Congressman Ortiz and Senators Hutchinson and Cornyn introduce legislation banning the bringing in of antibiotics from Mexico.

This superbug bacteria is in part the result of the misuse of antibiotics. We all know people who run to Matamoros for antibiotics for everything. You cannot reason with these people - you tell them it will not fight a viral infection and they do not care. Our bodies are no longer responding to many of these antibiotics and this is causing for the creation of these superbugs. For now, both the city and the county can pass ordinances which ban the bringing in of these antibiotics from Matamoros. It is public health crisis issue.

Now, if I were to bet on this issue - it will take a major outbreak before anyone cares. Then everyone will want to file lawsuits. How sad - how very, very sad.

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