New, lethal MRSA strain emerges

A new strain of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is emerging, which poses a grave threat to anyone who contracts it. Researchers with Henry Ford Hospital say the USA600 strain is partially immune to vancomycin, though the drug has proved effective in treating MRSA in the past.

According to research presented at the annual meeting of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, half of the USA600-infected patients in the study died within a month, a death rate which is a staggering five times that of those infected with known MRSA strains. Ordinarily, 11 percent of patients infected with MRSA die within 30 days.

Researchers aren't sure, however, if USA600 is causing deaths on its own. Another factor may be the age of the patients, as those with the strain were, on average, 64 years old, as compared with 52 years old for other MRSA-infected people.

To learn more about this strain:
- read this HealthDay News item
- read this Henry Ford Hospital news release

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