More MRSA showing up in U.S. ERs

Aug. 17, 2006 at 1:08 PM
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LOS ANGELES, Aug. 17 (UPI) -- Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, is the most common cause of skin and soft-tissue infections in U.S. emergency rooms, a study found.

MRSA had been found mostly in hospital and nursing home residents, however, a new type of MRSA has emerged -- community-associated MRSA -- affecting people with no connection to healthcare settings, and which can be found among athletes, correctional facility inmates and military recruits, among others.

Researchers at the University of California at Los Angeles found the infections appear to be common in people who are not connected to any particular risk group.

"The study points to the rising prevalence of this type of MRSA and the need for clinicians to culture infections and make sure the proper antibiotic is administered to treat MRSA," said study leader Dr. Gregory J. Moran, of the UCLA Medical Center.

Of the infections of 422 patients seen at 11 metropolitan emergency rooms, 59 percent were found to have MRSA and 57 percent were resistant to the antibiotic prescribed, according to The New England Journal of Medicine.

"If you think you have a spider bite or other type of skin lesion that is not healing, you want to see your doctor to make sure it's not an infection like MRSA," advised Moran.

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