Friday, October 19, 2007


Can't blame MRSA on illegal immigrants

That's not a rumor you want to start, but I heard Laura Ingraham mention it right after talking about the TB guy who's made a number of flights legally from Mexico into the U.S. A whole alphabet soup of government agencies have dropped the ball on this one, and it's not an illegal immigrant issue.

Neither is MRSA (what I heard: as an aside she asked where these germs were coming from right after talking about the TB infected Mexican . . . like we can't grow our own!). It's a problem which started in the 1970s with hospitals overusing antibiotics, patients having shorter stays, and the staph bug moving on out to the community. In 1998, the CDC reported on the problem with nosocomial infections (infections that originally preyed on the weakest and sickest in hospitals)
    By the late 1980s and early 1990s, several different classes of antimicrobial drugs effective against gram-negative bacilli provided a brief respite. During this time, methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) and vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) emerged, signaling the return of the "blue bugs." In 1990 to 1996, the three most common gram-positive pathogens—S. aureus, coagulase-negative staphylococci, and enterococci—accounted for 34% of nosocomial infections, and the four most common gram-negative pathogens—Escherichia coli, P. aeruginosa, Enterobacter spp., and Klebsiella pneumoniae—accounted for 32%
The most recently updated MRSA page at CDC was done this week--the earlier one was from 2005, but the recent concern apparently caused them to revise it.
    Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) is a type of staph that is resistant to certain antibiotics. These antibiotics include methicillin and other more common antibiotics such as oxacillin, penicillin and amoxicillin. Staph infections, including MRSA, occur most frequently among persons in hospitals and healthcare facilities (such as nursing homes and dialysis centers) who have weakened immune systems (see healthcare-associated MRSA).

    MRSA infections that are acquired by persons who have not been recently (within the past year) hospitalized or had a medical procedure (such as dialysis, surgery, catheters) are known as CA-MRSA infections. Staph or MRSA infections in the community are usually manifested as skin infections, such as pimples and boils, and occur in otherwise healthy people.
The most recent guidelines run to 219 pages, but to sum it up, WASH YOUR HANDS, PEOPLE, and don't let a medical staff person touch you until they do. "Improved hand hygiene practices have been associated with a sustained decrease in the incidence of MRSA and VRE infections primarily in the ICU (p. 49)"

1 comment:

Unknown said...

We were just talking about this at work yesterday.

The radiologist that I work for mentioned that alot of people who are put on antibiotics don't finish the complete course of them. They start feeling better and stop the medicine.

He went on to explain that even though you are feeling better, the bacteria is not completely dead yet. Just enough to feel better. Since you weakened it and didn't kill it, it allows it to spread to someone else still AND once it spreads it creates a resistance to whatever antibiotic you were put on.

He also went on to gripe about all these antibacterial products on the market. He said that they are actually more harmful then helpful since we need some bacteria in order for our immune systems to develop immunity.