February 20, 2009

MRSA Rates Down

The "super bug" may not be so super anymore. Reports show some methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections have been decreasing.

In recent years, antibiotic resistant infections often contracted in hospitals made headlines for causing serious and potentially deadly infections. One such common infection is a central line-associated bloodstream infection (BSI), affecting the heart or the large vessels of the heart, such as the aorta or internal jugular vein. Doctors say the incidence of this MRSA has declined in recent years.

From 1997 through 2007, rates of BSI declined 60.1 percent in surgical ICUs and 77.7 percent in medical ICUs. Rates of BSI were stable in pediatric ICUs during that same time period.

"The overall decline in incidence stands in sharp contrast to trends in percent MRSA, which give an incomplete picture of changes in the magnitude of the MRSA problem over time and may have led to a misperception that the MRSA central line-associated BSI problem in ICUs has been increasing," study authors write.

They go on to say prevention efforts of all MRSA types, including regular staph infections, are succeeding and may have contributed to decreasing rates of MRSA.


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