Report: MRSA moving out of healthcare settings

While methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is already known to be a huge problem within hospitals, fewer professionals realize that it's also becoming a serious threat for the public at large, according to a new report. This is grim news, given that some non-hospital strains of MRSA may be even worse than the hospital-based variety.

In 2005, there were about 18,650 hospital deaths caused by approximately 94,360 invasive MRSA infections, according to projections by CDC researchers. In fact, MRSA has apparently become the leading cause of skin and soft-tissue infections among U.S. emergency department patients. To date, 85 percent of those were healthcare-related, according to the study, which appears this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

However, the number of MRSA infections contracted in other ways--such as in prisons or among athletes--is growing at a brisk clip.

To learn more about the MRSA public health threat:
- read this Modern Healthcare article
- read the JAMA article

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