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Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois Urges Constant Vigilance Against Growing Threat of Killer 'Superbug'
Date:7/10/2009

CHICAGO, July 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A sometimes fatal "superbug" is popping up in hospitals, other health care settings and even communities where healthy people live. It's called methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, (MRSA "mer'-sa"). Health experts urge common-sense steps by medical workers and the public to slow its spread.

"Physicians, health care facilities and patients play a role in reducing this threat through the appropriate use of antibiotics, proper wound care and adhering to basic infection-control measures, including regular hand-washing and not sharing towels, razors and other personal hygiene items," says Kim Reed, M.D., medical director for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois.

Other steps people inside and outside health care settings must take:

--Clean and cover cuts and scrapes.

--Shower after athletic events and workouts wearing flip-flops.

--Clean work surfaces.

--Maintain good hygiene.

--Use extra care in gyms, dorms and barracks where many people gather.

--Insist health workers follow anti-MRSA procedures.

"MRSA infections lead to increased human suffering and more expensive treatment alternatives," adds Reed.

'Didn't know what future held'

Al Wegleitner of Prosper, Texas, was bitten badly by this "superbug." Wegleitner came home from work and noticed a leg sore -- maybe a bug bite or pimple. Feverish, he went to bed. By morning, the sore spot was a large, bright red rash. "I still had a fever. My leg was twice its normal size." Rushed to Baylor Regional Medical Center at Plano, doctors pumped him with antibiotics with little effect.

"They kept asking me where I might have picked up an infection. I honestly didn't know. Frankly, I didn't know what the future held," says Wegleitner.

After 10 days hospitalized and no diag
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SOURCE Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois
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