Gary Tetz

Those adorable flying insects buzzing around and bringing cheer to your long-term care facility right now? A new study reveals that they’re probably infested with and spreading terrifying superbugs. McKnight’s reported it, so it is indeed true. 

About 90% of common houseflies and other creatures tested “carried dangerous bacteria such as E.coli, salmonella and Staphylococcus aureus either in or on their bodies.” Oh, and a high proportion were drug resistant, because that’s just how these creatures roll. 

I’ll admit, on initial review this all sounds like horrible news. Especially when you consider that the study was conducted in English hospitals, and given the toxic and tumultuous political environment over there, it’s possible those same lethal creatures are even now winging our direction to escape the economic uncertainty of Brexit

But before we start to panic and try to build an insect-proof wall, I first need to share that a 29-year-old woman in Taiwan complained of severe eye pain, and an ophthalmologist found four live, tiny bees under her eyelid. 

Also, while fishing in Alaska, a different woman suffering eye discomfort found a small, translucent worm living under her eyelid, and over the next 20 days and multiple hospital visits, doctors removed 14 more.  

Furthermore, let’s not forget the deadly brain-eating amoeba that’s contracted in fresh water through the nose, and killed a man who visited a Texas water park.  

And finally, a comprehensive scientific review revealed that frogs, rodents, snakes, lizards, birds and even a bat were found by customers in bags of prepackaged produce. I should also mention that eight frogs, a toad and a lizard were still alive. 

So yes, it’s certainly not good that flying insects are possibly carrying deadly, antibiotic-resistant superbugs throughout your facility, and you should definitely ask them to go back outside and remain there. But let’s keep things in perspective. It’s still a lot better than bees in your eye. 

Things I Think is written by Gary Tetz, a national Silver Medalist and regional Gold and Silver Medal winner in the Association of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE) awards program. He’s been amusing, inspiring, informing and sometimes befuddling long-term care readers worldwide since the end of a previous century. He is a multimedia consultant for Consonus Healthcare Services in Portland, OR.