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New Survey Finds that over Half of MRSA Patients Report Having Received No Information about the Disease from Health Care Providers
Date:10/31/2007

BOSTON, Oct. 31 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- According to a national online survey administered by the Alliance for the Prudent Use of Antibiotics (APUA), 53% of patients diagnosed with methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) reported that they were given no information on the condition at the time of diagnosis.

More than 80% of 312 survey respondents said they were not counseled by a health care provider on ways to avoid spreading MRSA to family members. Most respondents reported being very concerned about transmission. To fill gaps in their knowledge, respondents reported turning to the Internet and seeking advice from newspapers, friends, and family. This lack of patient knowledge could lead to the spread of MRSA among family members.

The survey data also indicate that lack of information can cause patients to feel helpless and take extreme, unnecessary actions. For example, many respondents reported isolating themselves, sending children to live with relatives, or stopping leisure activities.

"The survey raises concern about the potential for MRSA to spread within families when patients aren't armed with better information," said Dr. Anibal Sosa, APUA. "But the lack of information is also contributing to the fear we saw in the patients who were surveyed, and causing some to take unnecessary steps that can really decrease quality of life for themselves and their families."

A study by researchers for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published earlier this month in the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that MRSA infections may be twice as common as previously thought. In 2005, nearly 19,000 people died in the United States from the disease, according to the study. In the past two weeks, two deaths of school- aged children-a high school student in Virginia and a middle-school student in Brooklyn-have been linked to MRSA.

"What's important is that we arm patients with information and they
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SOURCE Alliance for the Prudent Use of Antibiotics
Copyright©2007 PR Newswire.
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