September 13, 2009 |
Dangerous staph bacteria have been found in sand and water for the first time at five public beaches along the coast here. The germ is MRSA, or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus -- a hard-to-treat bug once rarely seen outside of hospitals but that increasingly is spreading in settings such as schools, locker rooms and gyms. It causes skin infections, pneumonia and other life-threatening problems, and spreads mostly through human contact. Researchers tested 10 beaches in Washington from February to September 2008.
July 18, 2010 |
More than half a century ago, when antibiotics were transforming modern medicine, a now almost forgotten drug was hailed as something close to the miracle of miracles. Doctors rushed to prescribe it for an array of medical problems — that is, until they discovered that the drug, chloramphenicol, sometimes had lethal side effects. Yet today, improbable as it may seem, an effort is underway to revive the use of chloramphenicol and other antibiotics that had largely been banished because of their potential danger.
June 3, 2011 |
A new strain of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, commonly known as MRSA, has been discovered in cows and humans in the United Kingdom and elsewhere in Europe, researchers reported Thursday. The new strain disturbs researchers because it evades one of the most commonly used tests to detect MRSA, which could lead physicians to prescribe the wrong antibiotics to treat the infection. The new strain of the bacterium is still relatively rare and, so far, no deaths have been attributed to it, the team reported in the journal Lancet Infectious Diseases.
January 11, 2011 |
Private rooms in hospital intensive care units are not just nicer for patients and their families – a new study shows they are safer, too. Roughly three out of every 10 ICU patients wind up with some kind of infection during their hospital stay. Those infections make sick people sicker, keeping them in the hospital for an additional eight to nine days and adding an estimated $3.5 billion to the nation’s healthcare tab each year. A $3.5-billion problem sure sounds daunting, but a new study suggests a straightforward solution: Make all ICU rooms private.
March 5, 2013 |
A deadly bacteria that's practically impervious to antibiotics is on the rise and has appeared in medical facilities in 42 U.S. states, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports. The rate of infection from carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, or CRE, might seem low -- 4% -- but it has risen fourfold in just the last decade. CRE is resistant even to last-resort drugs such as carbapenem and can potentially be very deadly. Up to half of patients who develop a bloodstream infection from CRE die, according to the CDC report.
January 19, 2008
Re "Beating the superbug," editorial, Jan. 14 Patients need to know what they can do to reduce their own risk of infection from the staph superbug known as MRSA. Most important, ask that hospital staffers clean their hands before treating you. If you're worried about being too aggressive, remember that your life is at stake. Don't be falsely reassured by gloves. If caregivers have pulled on gloves without cleaning their hands first, the gloves are contaminated before they touch you. If you need surgery, choose a surgeon with a low infection rate.
September 3, 2010
The next cures for bacterial infections may come from an unlikely place: cockroach brains. Tissues from cockroach and locust brains and nervous systems killed off 90% of E. coli and MRSA bacteria without harming the human cells they were attacking, according to researchers from the University of Nottingham. The findings, released Saturday, are being presented this week at the autumn meeting of the Society for General Microbiology in Nottingham, Great Britain. The researchers suspect it’s the proteins in the insect brains that so effectively kill the bacteria.
September 15, 2010
Taking good care of a patient also includes, quite literally, keeping in touch. But the growing fear in medicine of dangerous infectious germs and diseases is making physical contact less common in hospital rooms and doctors' offices, says an Oakland-based doctor. In an essay published Monday, Dr. Leif Hass recounts his 10-year-old daughter's hospitalization from MRSA (methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus) followed by his own infection and hospitalization. Although vowing to take more precautions against the spread of disease among his patients and his family, Hass describes his longtime reluctance to wear plastic gloves while interacting with patients because of the "barrier" gloves create.
April 2, 2013 |
Staph infections remain a significant problem for hospital patients, and scientists are trying to develop vaccines to prevent Staphylococcus aureus bacteria from establishing itself in vital areas like the heart, lungs or blood. But it's turning out to be a difficult task: A promising vaccine intended to protect heart-surgery patients from staph infections worked no better than a placebo, a new study reported . Making matters worse, patients who developed staph infections despite getting the vaccine were more likely to die than infected patients who got the placebo, the study found.
September 16, 2013 |
Estimated cases of infection with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus , or MRSA, fell more than 30% in the U.S. between 2005 and 2011, suggesting that heightened efforts to combat the infections in hospitals had made a difference, researchers wrote Monday in the online edition of JAMA Internal Medicine. But another report, also published online in the journal, found that people who lived closest to farms had higher rates of MRSA infection than people who lived farthest from farms - reflecting ongoing concerns about antibiotic use in agriculture and its effects on human health.