Superbug on the decline
There's finally some good news in the long battle against "superbugs" -- those germs that have become resistant to treatment. One worrisome bug -- known as MRSA for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus--appears to be in retreat, according to new research.
MRSA is a bacteria that has become resistant to antibiotics including methicillin, penicillin, and amoxicillin. Alexander Kallen of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta analyzed data about MRSA infections between 2005 and 2008 in nine metropolitan areas, including Baltimore County. The analysis found a 9.4 percent annual decrase in infections in health-care settings such as hospitals and a 5.7 percent annual decrease in the hospital-associated infections in the community, the researchers reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
That translates into a 28 percent decrease in hospital-associated infections and a 17 percent decrease in all health care-associated community infections over the four-year period.
The reason for the decreases remains unclear but are probably due to a number of factors, including better infection control measures in hospitals, the researchers say.
In an editorial accompanying the report, Eli Perencevich and Daniel Diekema of the University of Iowa say the results are just the latest evidence that MRSA is in retreat. But they cautioned about letting down our guard.
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