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At Last – Some Good News about MRSA

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MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureu) cases are now at a record low – according to the latest data from the Health Protection Agency (HPA).

25 acute NHS trusts have now been free from any outbreaks of the superbug MRSA for the past twelve months.  Taking all the NHS trusts in England into account, there were less than 100 infections reported in any given month of last year.

Incidents of another superbug, Clostridium difficile (C. diff) are also down by 16 per cent from the previous year – from 2,001 to 1,681 across England’s trusts.

In 2001, after a public outcry over the sheer number of patients either contracting or dying from superbug infections, it became mandatory for all trusts to both survey and keep records of all patients infected by these superbugs.  The number of people dying caused the media to refer to our hospitals as ‘third world’ in the cleanliness stakes.

Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley, said;

“This sustained pattern of falling infections across the health service is good news.  However, the variation between the very best in the country and the very worst is still unacceptably high.”

“So, while progress has been made, we must do better to shrink this gap and improve standards for all.”

MRSA is an infection that enters the bloodstream through an open wound and is resistant to many forms of penicillin.  Many people carry the bug on their skin or in the nasal cavity – normally to no effect, but if it migrates to an open wound it can enter the body, causing a severe, or even a fatal, blood infection such as septicaemia.

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