Study: MRSA rates climbing among urban poor

Increasingly, drug-resistant infections are popping up outside of the hospital setting. Such infections have increased dramatically among the urban poor, according to a new study. Methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) has already begun to show its face among athletes, prisoners and people with illicit tattoos. Now, people in some Chicago neighborhoods have seen a staggering seven-fold increase in MRSA infections, said researchers, who published their conclusions in the Archives of Internal Medicine. From 2000 to 2005, infection rates shot up from 24 cases per 100,000 to 164 cases per 100,000 among patients cared for at Chicago's principal public hospital--a trend not unlike that seen by other inner city hospitals, the study's authors say. Researchers conjecture that MRSA rates may be climbing in this population due to crowded conditions in public housing.

To find out more about this research:
- read this Associated Press piece