Jun
28
2007

Drug-resistant bacteria spreads through US hospitals

A drug-resistant strain of the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus infects over 1 million US hospital patients every year: Photo from The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
A drug-resistant strain of the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus infects over 1 million US hospital patients every year: Photo from The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

Every year some 1.2 million Americans leave the hospital sicker than when they went in, thanks to a virulent strain of bacteria. Staphylococcus aureus (or “staph” for short) has been around forever, infecting wounds when hospitals don’t follow proper sterilization procedures. It has been treated with penicillin and antibiotics. But recently, a new strain has evolved which is immune to these treatments. According to the US Centers for Disease Control, this new strain may infect some 4.5% of all hospital patients—almost 10 times more than previously thought. Up to 119,000 people die each year from the disease.

Patients and hospitals can take steps to reduce the spread of this illness:

  • Patients at risk for the disease should be identified and tested.
  • Infected patients should be isolated.
  • Health care workers need to follow correct procedures surrounding sanitation and disinfection.
  • Antibiotics need to be used carefully and correctly.

That last point is important. Using antibiotics when they’re not needed is dangerous, as it gives more germs a chance to develop immunity. At the same time, failure to use all the antibiotics prescribed runs the risk of not killing all the germs, leaving the strongest ones alive to multiply and spread.

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

weirdo's picture
weirdo says:

This is very scary!

posted on Sun, 11/11/2007 - 9:33pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

About a year go my husband had a boil on his butt. It was treated with antibotics they thought that they may have to surgery he healed and doing fine. For myself at the time i begin to itch very bad shaved wrong move. The last year i have had 4 boil one that was drained by GYN antiboticts. Have have many red pimples around the lower stomach area. just finished antibotic will see my primary care Dr. Tomorrow. Prior to this Dr. follow-up vist i request that this little pimple that i have drain be tested for MRSA. Test postive as MRSA.
Prior to the request to be tested i have seen my GYN, Primary Care Dr. and Infections Diseased Specalist and through all this no one said anything about MRSA, I call my primary care Dr. with concern about MRSA. Oh the Infections Diseased Specalist told me the only way to get rid of this staph infection clorox clean the every in the house and cars wash every and take a bath in clorox for 3 months. I have also had 2 Strep throat infection one with this round of antibotic. Some where the ball was drop and I don't know what my end will be I have survived Ovarian Cancer. My husband and i work in healthcare.

posted on Wed, 11/14/2007 - 10:59pm

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <h3> <h4> <em> <i> <strong> <b> <span> <ul> <ol> <li> <blockquote> <object> <embed> <param> <sub> <sup>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • You may embed videos from the following providers vimeo, youtube. Just add the video URL to your textarea in the place where you would like the video to appear, i.e. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pw0jmvdh.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Images can be added to this post.

More information about formatting options