By David Gardner
Last updated at 10:04 AM on 12th February 2009
Michael Jackson has contracted an MRSA-type skin infection during plastic surgery to reconstruct his nose, it has emerged.
The 50-year-old singer is allegedly receiving medical treatment at a top Beverly Hills clinic to try and beat the superbug, which is said to have spread throughout his body.
The claim is the latest health scare surrounding Jackson, who denied reports in December that he was suffering from a potentially fatal lung disease.
Speculation grew after the frail star was seen being pushed in a wheelchair.
Jackson was recently pictured on his way to the clinic for treatment wearing his usual dark sunglasses and surgical mask.
Witnesses said the skin on his hands and face appeared ‘visibly inflamed’ with red and purple blotches and he was said to have a badly swollen cheek.
According to The Sun, experts warned the severe ‘staph’ infection could develop into a flesh-eating disorder that could eat away at Jackson’s skin and leave him in need of major surgery.
‘The disease is an MRSA-style infection because it is resistant to conventional antibiotics, so he has been visiting a clinic to get antibiotics via an IV drip,’ a source told the newspaper.
‘The infection has spread throughout his face and body and is being aggressively treated by doctors.
‘There’s a chance it could turn into a flesh-eating disorder where it begins to kill off his skin so he’s being very carefully monitored,’ the source added.
US plastic surgeon Dr Anthony Youn, who has not treated Jackson, is quoted saying the possible infection could have been contracted during his nasal reconstruction surgery.
Jackson’s spokesman was unavailable for comment last night.
In December, biographer Ian Halperin claimed that Jackson was dying from a rare lung disease, but the story was dismissed by the star’s publicist as ‘total fabrication.’