Staph infections kill more people every year than previously thought, according to a recent press release. In the past, staph infections were primarily found in health care settings such as hospitals or nursing homes. These infections have become more drug resistant, and are now frequently found outside of typical health care settings.
Specifically, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections are being found more often than in the past. Historically, MRSAs were primarily confined to hospitals and other medical facilities. Their resurgence, in both hospital settings and elsewhere, and their resistance to antibiotics have made them more of a concern for medical professionals.
Researchers estimate that the MRSA virus will kill approximately 18,650 people a year. This is a significant number of deaths across the country. In fact, it exceeds the number of deaths caused by the HIV/AIDs virus in the U.S. in 2005.
MSRAs infect people by having skin contact and can be transmitted among healthy people. More people seek treatment for infections to their skin or soft tissues from MSRAs in hospital emergency rooms than any other type of skin disorder.
After reviewing nearly 9,000 cases of MRSA, nearly 1,600 hospital in-patient deaths, researchers estimate that over 94,000 new cases of MRSA occur in the United States in 2005. MRSA caused 18.650 deaths.
According to Elizabeth A. Bancroft, M.D., S.M., of the Los Angeles County Dept. of Health, “The rate of invasive MRSA …was an astounding 31.8 per 100,000… the estimated rate of invasive MRSA is greater than …invasive pneumococcal disease (14.1 per 100,000), invasive group A streptococcus (3.6 per 100,000), invasive meningococcal disease (0.35 per 100,000), and invasive H influenzae (1.4 per 100,000).”
Staph viruses typically live on human skin, even the skin of healthy people. A healthy person can carry the MRSA virus, without being ill. If it’s spread to another person who has a cut or is ill, that person is at greater risk of developing a staph infection from it.
This virus is now being found many different settings, including gymnasiums, hospital nurseries, and locker rooms to name a few. While MSRAs have typically affected intravenous drug users, there are many strains that affect people that are neither in a hospital nor using intravenous drugs.
“In conclusion, invasive MRSA disease is a major public health problem and is primarily related to health care but no longer confined to acute care. Although in 2005 the majority of invasive disease was related to health care, this may change,” said the researchers.
This is not intended to provide medical advice. If you are concerned about this, or any other, medical condition, please speak with your health care provider.