MRSA Goes to Hollywood


BEVERLY HILLS, CA: MRSA, traditionally a hospital bug, is on the move. Increasingly it’s being found in the community, especially where people gather: athletic facilities, schools & daycares, military barracks, and downwind of industrialized food animal farms. And now, a California lawsuit reveals, it’s hanging out on Wilshire Blvd at the Beverly Hilton Hotel – home of the Daytime Emmy and Golden Globe Awards.

Texas businessman, reality show developer, & now plaintiff, Larry Poe, went for a facial at the Hilton Hotel spa just as he has 100 times before. But this time was different. Poe says the spa aesthetician poked him with a pair of tweezers in an attempt to remove a hair from his upper lip, and this caused a small wound to open. The tech applied a cream to try and sooth it but it was too late – MRSA had either already slipped in, or was contained in the cream and entered the wound upon application. Either way, his lip soon began to swell and after 3 days of unrelenting pain & swelling Poe finally went to the ER where he was diagnosed with MRSA. He was immediately quarantined and needed 4 days of hospital care to get well again.

Larry Poe is just one of the more than 80,000 people a year in the US who suffer a serious MRSA infection. Thankfully, he was not one of the more than 11,000 people who die from it. But he’s paying a price: on top of his pain, anxiety over treatment outcome, and missed work, he’s left with a permanent scar (troubling because he’s a public speaker), tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills, and the travails of pursuing a civil suit against a well-resourced corporation.



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