Industrial Hog Operations in North Carolina
Disproportionately Impact African-Americans, Hispanics and American Indians
A new study suggests that nearly half of workers who care for animals in large industrial hog farming operations may be carrying home livestock-associated bacteria in their noses and the bacteria remains with them up to four days after exposure. Researchers said, that the longer the bacteria remain in workers’ noses, the greater the potential the bacteria will be spread to hog workers’ families and communities.
Researchers reported that workers carrying staphylococcus aureus bacteria were antibiotic-resistant, likely due to antibiotics being used to promote hog growth as well as to treat sick animals. Staph cause more serious skin infections or can infect surgical wounds, the bloodstream, the lungs or the urinary tract. Strains of staph such as MRSA, which are resistant to some antibiotics, can be the most damaging because they can be so hard to treat.