infections

Drug resistant staph infections on the rise in U.S. hospitals

Thursday, December 10, 2009 by: Paul Louis, staff writer
Tags: MRSA, drug resistance, health news

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(Natural News) The CDC has declared staphylococcus aureus infections are increasing to the point that 20,000 people a year die from staph infections, usually when the bacteria infiltrate the bloodstream or lungs. Many survive staph infections in wounds when they are simply skin deep and cause irritations.

Compared to the figure of 14,000 who died from AIDS in the year 2007, the staph infection death toll should be a public concern. Perhaps the lack of publicity is due to the fact that most serious staph infections are nosocomial infections.

Nosocomial refers to infections that are received from hospitals and clinics, often as post surgery complications aside from the original health problems being treated. They are also more commonly known as hospital infections. According to the CDC, 63,000 die annually from nosocomial infections, including staphylococcus aureus. In European hospitals and clinics secondary infections are even higher.

Staphylococcus aureus or staph is not to be confused with the dangerous and similarly named Streptococcus. Staph tends to be resistant to penicillin. So along came Methicillin to the rescue. But now some staph strains have become resistant to methicillin. The new super bug strain is known as MRSA, or methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus.

There has also been an increase in community based staphylococcus aureus as well. It's estimated that 20 percent of the population are long term staph carriers. Usually these staph strains that reside on the skin or in the nose are less virulent and can be cured with most antibiotics.

However, the antibiotic resistant super bugs are mostly passed on from hospitals. A study conducted by Resources for the Future analyzed data from over 300 hospital microbiology labs across the country. They found a seven-fold proportional increase with community associated strains of MRSA at outpatient hospital units between 1999 and 2006. Their study was published in Emerging Diseases.

Health care professionals and patients alike are often required to move between inpatient and outpatient facilities. This is suspected to have created a sort of "cross pollination" effect with the MRSA super bugs. On a positive note, it's now known that sometimes MRSAs can be handled with cheaper antibiotics than penicillin or methicillan.

Sources for this article include:
http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Staphylococcus_...

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