Sunday, August 20, 2006


MRSA - Reported Cases Continue to Rise - News Updates

MRSA - leading cause for skin infections

Gunika Khurana - August 19, 2006
MRSA or Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, a rare germ, that seldom affected people a decade back, is now the major cause for skin infections in most American cities.

On average, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) accounts for 59 percent of skin infections in the ER, the study found.

MRSA is resistant to many standard antibiotics that have been used for years, but it can still be effectively treated with one of several antibiotics, experts said .

"MRSA is now the most common cause of skin infections in most of the big U.S. cities," said researcher Dr. Gregory Moran, a professor of medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles, David Geffen School of Medicine.

"When doctors are deciding if a patient needs antibiotics, they should be given antibiotics that cover MRSA. That's a change from things we've been doing for a decade. This has changed. A different type of bacteria is now the most common cause of infections," Dr. Moran noted.

Patients with MRSA skin infections, which can cause painful lesions or sores, often mistakenly blame the infection on a spider bite, the researchers found. They advise doctors to "consider the possibility of MRSA infection in patients who report spider bites."


MRSA and bedbugs are found in hospital

By Nigel Gould18 August 2006 - Belfast Telegraph An Ulster hospital is tackling an outbreak of MRSA - and an infestation of bedbugs.

Doctors and nurses had to be moved from the Enniskillen-based Erne Hospital's residential block because of the bedbugs.

The Trust said there was no risk to any patients or visitors to the hospital.

Meanwhile, 11 patients in an elderly ward are believed to have contracted feared superbug, MRSA.
In a statement, Dr Richard Smithson, consultant in communicable disease control, said: "MRSA control is a challenge for all hospitals across NI and has become an increasing problem in the community.

"Overall the Erne Hospital has no greater a problem with this bug than any other hospital in Northern Ireland.
"Fortunately none of the patients found to be carriers of this bug has indicated any infection or has become unwell as a result of it.

"The MRSA problem in general has arisen chiefly because of the overuse of antibiotics.
"With regard to the bedbugs in the residential block, the expert opinion is that it is no indication of housekeeping standards or lack of cleanliness.

"Bedbugs are transported into environments. Once introduced into environments specialist measures are required to eradicate them.

"It is not a matter of cleaning the area."

Last month, the Belfast Telegraph revealed that MRSA-related deaths in Northern Ireland had quadrupled in just four years.

Figures show the antibiotic-resistant superbug played a part in the deaths of 69 people throughout the province during 2005. That compares to just 17 in 2001.

Overall between 2001 and 2005 there were no fewer than 186 MRSA-connected deaths.
Places of death include hospitals, nursing homes or the patient's residence.

In each case, MRSA was mentioned on the patient's death certificate - although it is not clear whether the bug was the primary cause of death or where the infection was initially picked up.

Bedbugs are small nocturnal insects of the family Cimicidae that feed on the blood of humans and other warm-blooded hosts.

They live in bedclothes, mattresses, bedsprings and frames, soft furnishing, cracks and crevices and under wallpaper.

Females lay between 200-500 eggs in batches of 10-50, on rough surfaces such as wood or paper.
Eggs are white, sticky and about 1/3 inch long. They are laid in cracks or crevices, never on people.
A bedbug's entire life cycle can take between five weeks to four months, depending upon the temperature and availability of food.

Meanwhile, this time last year the Belfast Telegraph revealed that doctors were forced out of their flat inside the complex of Craigavon Hospital - by an army of ants.


Rise in community MRSA
[Posted: Fri 18/08/2006]

Antibiotic-resistant infections account for more than half of the skin infections treated in A&E units in US hospitals, it has been found.

A new study sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention analysed all skin infections among adults who visited hospital emergency departments in 11 US cities in August 2004.

The researchers, reporting in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that 249 out of the 422 cases , or 59%, were caused by MRSA. In some of the hospitals, MRSA infections accounted for between 15 and 74% of the total skin infections encountered in hospital A&Es.

The study provides evidence of the continuing prevalence of drug resistant infections such as MRSA in the community as well as in hospitals.

A study earlier this year found that 17% of drug-resistant staphylococcal infections were acquired in communities rather than from hospitals.


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