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Study finds livestock-related 'Staph' strain in child care worker
Date:5/6/2011

ut five years ago, and most of the research on this strain has been conducted there. To the best of their knowledge, Moritz and Smith's studies are two of only three instances in which the strain has been reported in the United States. The other research team in New York City found ST398 in a population group from the Dominican Republic.

Because the strain was found in one individual out of a very small sample of study participants, it's difficult to draw any conclusions from the finding, Smith said.

"Especially in the U.S., where we don't have a lot of good national surveillance for many infectious diseases, the epidemiology of ST398 is kind of a black box," she said. "So, we're not sure quite yet what it means other than she (the child care worker) did pick this up somehow besides the obvious route of livestock contact.

"We know that about a third of us carry some strain of Staphylococcus aureus. This is just a novel strain that has been picked up in the last five years, and we really don't know a whole lot about it. It's not any worse than your run-of-the-mill human staph that's out there in the community already," Smith added.

This finding should not be a cause for concern among parents and child care workers, according to Moritz, who defended her dissertation in December and will graduate in May. "Child care workers are at increased risk of carrying infectious agents, which is no surprise to anyone," she said.

Moritz encouraged child care staff to follow the standard public health recommendation of frequent hand washing to reduce the spread of all infectious organisms in day care facilities.


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Contact: Jennifer Brown
jennifer-l-brown@uiowa.edu
319-356-7124
University of Iowa Health Care
Source:Eurekalert

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