Sad news out of Maryland, and a reminder of how devastating MRSA, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, can be when it combines with flu infection. According to the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the Washington Post and ProMED, five members of a family have fallen ill and three have died from MRSA pneumonia that took hold in lungs inflamed by flu infection.
The dead are Ruth Blake, 81, and her children Lowell, 58, and Vanessa, 56. Another child, Elaine, also fell ill and was hospitalized, and Ruth Blake’s sister has been hospitalized also. They had all contracted one of the seasonal flu strains circulating this year: H3N2. According to the Post, Ruth Blake was vaccinated against flu this season; her children were not. The assumption is that both flu and MRSA spread from the mother to the children.