University of Iowa researchers say a new strain of bacteria associated with livestock was recently found in an Iowa childcare worker that reported she had not contact with livestock. Erin Mortiz was conducting the research as a doctoral student, and says there could be a couple of explanations for finding the bacteria called staphylococcus aureus.
Mortiz says it’s possible that there were other people who worked at the facility or kids who had exposure to livestock and passed the staph onto the women. A second possibility is the staph can be found on meat sold in stores, and that is where the woman picked it up.
Moritz says this strain is call ST398 and was found in the past in a study of people who worked in the pork industry. She says there have been only two or three instances of this strain being found in the U.S. Mortiz says the staph can be carried by people who have no symptoms, but it can also cause problems.
She says it can cause a wide range of issues from a mild skin infection, to severe infections in patients in health facilities that have weakened immune systems. Mortiz says the childcare worker appears to be someone who carried the staph with no symptoms. She says the finding is not a big concern for childcare facilities.
Mortiz says it was just the one childcare worker out of the 110 they sampled, so it’s not a big concern among the general population. She says this strain of staph is so new, that they don’t know a lot about it yet. Mortiz found the worker with the ST398 strain while doing a study on staph in daycare facilities.