The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has established the first national baseline for Methicillin-resistant staph aureus (MRSA) that will enable them to assess future trends in the disease.
MRSA is an extremely serious condition. For example in 2005, in the United States alone, there were more than 94,000 life threatening infections and almost 19,000 deaths and most of the infections were associated with health care facilities.
An MRSA infection can run the gambit from a mile skin infection all the way up to every severe infections in the bloodstream, the lungs and surgical sites.
The study revealed that close to 85% of all of the MRSA infections were able to be traced to health care setting. Two thirds of them occurred in hospital patients, had had a medical procedure done or were residents of a long term care facility sometime in the previous year.
There were also about 15% of the infections that they classified as community based. These infections occurred in people who did not have any documented health care related risk factors.
Using the figures from 2005, the last year that figures are available from, they found that the highest rates were among those who were age 65 or older. It affected blacks at almost the twice the rate it did whites. They say this may be because there is a higher rate of chronic illness in the black population.
Denise Cardo, M.D., director of CDC?s Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion spoke for the agency when she said that the numbers show that there are a great many families that are being affected and that the country’s healthcare facilities need to make the prevention of MRSA a top priority. She also stated that the closer we come to being in full compliance with the CDC recommendations, the greater the impact will be on the health and safety of the public.
They arrive at the new estimates by using data from nine locations namely: the state of Connecticut; the Atlanta metropolitan area; the San Francisco Bay area; the Denver metropolitan area; the Portland, Ore., metropolitan area; Monroe County, N.Y.; Baltimore City, Md.; Davidson County, Tenn.; and Ramsey County, Minn.
The infections that occurred in the health care settings occur most frequently in patients who have invasive medical procedures or in those whose immune systems have become weakened and are being treated either in hospitals, health care facilities – nursing homes, for example- and dialysis centers.
Source: CDC http://www.cdc.gov/