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Largest National U.S. Healthcare Facility MRSA Study Reveals,Infection Rates Eight Times Greater Than Previous Estimates

'Superbug' Prevalence Data from 1,237 Facilities Demonstrates Public Health Threat; Colonization and Infections Span All States, Across Healthcare Facility Units

SAN JOSE, Calif., June 25, 2007 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) today released initial results from a nationwide study of 1,237 U.S. healthcare facilities, examining the prevalence of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), a virulent multi-drug resistant organism. Findings demonstrate MRSA prevalence rates to be at least 46 cases per 1,000 patients -- significantly more widespread and established than previous estimated rates.

In the most comprehensive MRSA survey of its kind, infection control personnel from approximately 21 percent of U.S. healthcare facilities in all 50 states participated in the study. The survey took a one-day "snapshot" of MRSA prevalence at these facilities between October and November 2006. The detailed survey looked at facilities caring for virtually every type of patient: acute care, cancer, cardiac, pediatric, rehabilitation and long-term care, and included county, public and private facilities. The survey also represents a cross-section of all sizes of facilities, from less than 100 to more than 300 bed facilities.

This is the first study to measure rates of both MRSA infection and colonization (patients carrying and able to transmit MRSA), to more accurately determine MRSA prevalence. Of the 46 in 1,000 MRSA patients, approximately 34/1,000 were infected while 12/1,000 patients were colonized.

Additionally, the survey determined that 77 percent of MRSA patients were identified within 48 hours of admission. This finding suggests that 35 out of 46 patients walk into healthcare facilities with MRSA, having acquired it either in a previous stay in a healthcare facility or in the community.

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