Staph Fatalities May Exceed AIDS Deaths

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by Principessa, Oct 16, 2007.

  1. Principessa

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    Staph Fatalities May Exceed AIDS Deaths

    By LINDSEY TANNER
    AP Medical Writer

    CHICAGO — More than 90,000 Americans get potentially deadly infections each year from a drug-resistant staph "superbug," the government reported Tuesday in its first overall estimate of invasive disease caused by the germ.

    Deaths tied to these infections may exceed those caused by AIDS, said one public health expert commenting on the new study. The report shows just how far one form of the staph germ has spread beyond its traditional hospital setting.

    The overall incidence rate was about 32 invasive infections per 100,000 people. That's an "astounding" figure, said an editorial in Wednesday's Journal of the American Medical Association, which published the study.
    Most drug-resistant staph cases are mild skin infections. But this study focused on invasive infections — those that enter the bloodstream or destroy flesh and can turn deadly.

    Researchers found that only about one-quarter involved hospitalized patients. However, more than half were in the health care system — people who had recently had surgery or were on kidney dialysis, for example. Open wounds and exposure to medical equipment are major ways the bug spreads.

    In recent years, the resistant germ has become more common in hospitals and it has been spreading through prisons, gyms and locker rooms, and in poor urban neighborhoods.

    The new study offers the broadest look yet at the pervasiveness of the most severe infections caused by the bug, called methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA. These bacteria can be carried by healthy people, living on their skin or in their noses.

    An invasive form of the disease is being blamed for the death Monday of a 17-year-old Virginia high school senior. Doctors said the germ had spread to his kidneys, liver, lungs and muscles around his heart.
    The researchers' estimates are extrapolated from 2005 surveillance data from nine mostly urban regions considered representative of the country. There were 5,287 invasive infections reported that year in people living in those regions, which would translate to an estimated 94,360 cases nationally, the researchers said.

    Most cases were life-threatening bloodstream infections. However, about 10 percent involved so-called flesh-eating disease, according to the study led by researchers at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    There were 988 reported deaths among infected people in the study, for a rate of 6.3 per 100,000. That would translate to 18,650 deaths annually, although the researchers don't know if MRSA was the cause in all cases.

    If these deaths all were related to staph infections, the total would exceed other better-known causes of death including AIDS — which killed an estimated 17,011 Americans in 2005 — said Dr. Elizabeth Bancroft of the Los Angeles County Health Department, the editorial author.

    The results underscore the need for better prevention measures. That includes curbing the overuse of antibiotics and improving hand-washing and other hygiene procedures among hospital workers, said the CDC's Dr. Scott Fridkin, a study co-author.

    Some hospitals have drastically cut infections by first isolating new patients until they are screened for MRSA.

    The bacteria don't respond to penicillin-related antibiotics once commonly used to treat them, partly because of overuse. They can be treated with other drugs but health officials worry that their overuse could cause the germ to become resistant to those, too.

    A survey earlier this year suggested that MRSA infections, including noninvasive mild forms, affect 46 out of every 1,000 U.S. hospital and nursing home patients — or as many as 5 percent. These patients are vulnerable because of open wounds and invasive medical equipment that can help the germ spread.

    Dr. Buddy Creech, an infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University, said the JAMA study emphasizes the broad scope of the drug-resistant staph "epidemic," and highlights the need for a vaccine, which he called "the holy grail of staphylococcal research."
    The regions studied were: the Atlanta metropolitan area; Baltimore, Connecticut; Davidson County, Tenn.; the Denver metropolitan area; Monroe County, NY; the Portland, Ore. metropolitan area; Ramsey County, Minn.; and the San Francisco metropolitan area.
    ____
    On the Net:
    JAMA: http://jama.ama-assn.org
    CDC: http://www.cdc.gov

    ___
    October 16, 2007 - 4:31 p.m. EDT
    Copyright 2007, The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP Online news report may not be published, broadcast or redistributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press.
    More on ajc.com

     
  2. EagleCowboy

    EagleCowboy Well-Known Member

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    My sister in law contracted that, we suspect, from a doctor's office. It was the flesh eating kind. It is also what killed my little nephew 4 days before he was born. She survived, but just barely and is making a wonderful recovery. The flesh that was eaten off of her, (and it was a *HUGE* chunk out of her leg) has grown back with no scars like it never happened.

    2 months later, my little bro managed to get it from a little cut on his finger. Same thing. We damn near lost him. Fortunately, the little buggers didn't much care for his flesh, but it did poison him severely attacking his lungs.

    As it turns out, to get this particular bug, you have to have quite a unique body chemistry and genetic makeup which they both apparently have. (no, they're not related--they actually checked!! LOL)

    While visiting my little bro, I was directly exposed to it as was my dad, and my other little brother. None of us got it. And none of the people we came in contact with got it.

    Since we were at *THE* best hospital for that particular case, where the entire medical community's eyes were fixed on it, they drew blood from all of us "just in case" and to study why we didn't get it. (the staff went through the same thing) They were contemplating quarantining all of us. But that didn't happen.

    The staff at that hospital was *AWESOME*, very professional, and stayed on top of everything all the time. Everything is back to normal, both my little bro, his wife, and the kids are all doing fine. But after that little episode, the house smells amazingly clean, and there isn't a surface that isn't. And if you go there, you wash your hands CONSTANTLY!!
     
  3. Not_Punny

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    My ex got it last year and damned near died. Nobody else in our family got it and we were all exposed to it.

    My ex got it after an operation -- and the man who was his post-operative, in-house nurse apparently had a trail of MRSA infections in his wake.

    Could it be that some people actively carry and spread it?
     
  4. chico8

    chico8 New Member

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    Welcome to the real world.

    The more we try to "fix" things, the more they're likely to find a way around it.

    With the boomers about to retire, and more of them being hospitalized and in nursing homes, you can be sure that staph will become a serious killer.
     
  5. Principessa

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    I contracted a post-op staph infection last year when they did a wide local excision to remove a cancerous spot. It was horrible! It was actually painful. That thing damn near killed me. You would think in this day and age the hospitals and staff would be more meticulous about cleanliness and germ transfer. :mad:

    Clorox Clean-up is my best friend. I keep a bottle in the bathroom, kitchen, and garage
     
  6. B_NineInchCock_160IQ

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    There are a lot of things that kill more people than AIDS.
     
  7. sbeBen

    sbeBen New Member

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    I find this thread a little inscestuous. May I point out that MRSA and indeed C.Dif is a problem worlwide and not just restricted to America? We do have members from all over the globe on this site!

    The only country I know of who take this seriously enough and take major steps in preventing the spread of MRSA is Holland. I think we could all learn a lot from the Netherlands about good housekeeping and hygiene.

    I witness first hand what goes on in British hospitals and it's not good! Some people come into hospital with MRSA or C.Dif(very contagious) only to infect other patients as the facilities to deal with such cases are so inadequate.
     
  8. SpeedoGuy

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    Improving hygiene in US hospitals would require more time and money be spent on better cleansing techniques, new cleaning equipment, better awareness training for staff, or worst, hiring more staff to implement better cleanliness. All of these would further drive up the cost of health care and insurance companies won't stand for that.

    In the end I suspect we'll save the money and just take our chances with the bug.
     
  9. IntoxicatingToxin

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    Okay. I'm going to take a stance that has yet to be taken. Yes, I'm sure hospitals could be cleaner. But does anyone understand what is CAUSING mrsa?? It is a DRUG RESISTANT ordeal. It was created from us USING too many drugs. We take antibiotics for everything. Some things aren't even treated with antibiotics, but we take them anyway! Of course we have viruses out there that are drug resistant - they have to be in order to survive. We are the reason that these things are mutating and becoming stronger. It's humans fault. We did this to ourselves.

    Each year, Americans log an estimated 31 million visits to pediatricians' offices with children suffering painful inner-ear infections. In most cases, the doctors prescribe antibiotics, even though they know many of the cases are due to allergies or viruses that don't respond to the drugs. It's the most prevalent example of what some public-health experts call a love affair with antibiotics that is driving up drug resistance in the general population. The Institute of Medicine last year estimated 20 to 50 percent of the 145 million antibiotic prescriptions given each year to outpatients are unnecessary, as are 25 to 45 percent of the 190 million annual doses of antibiotics administered in hospitals. But critics say doctors persist in writing prescriptions, fearing that otherwise they will lose their patients' business or, possibly, become subject to lawsuits for withholding care.

    -- More than 90 percent of all the Staphylococcus aureus strains in the United States have become resistant to penicillin and related antibiotics, according to a 1998 report by the Institute of Medicine. Staph is the biggest source of infections in patients in U.S. hospitals, causing blood poisoning, pneumonia and wound infections.

    -- The common bacteria Streptococcus pneumoniae, which causes blood poisoning and respiratory tract infections, evolved in Singapore into a killer microbe that antibiotics cannot stop. Health officials there report the percentage of antibiotic-resistant cases has surged from 2 percent in 1991 to 43 percent in 1997. In the United States, an average of 25 percent of strains are resistant.

    -- Multidrug-resistant strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis have helped TB re-emerge as a leading cause of death. Nearly 3 million people worldwide succumb to the disease each year, and there are an estimated 8.8 million new cases annually.

    -- As many as 40 percent of strains of pneumococci in some parts of the United States are now partly or completely resistant to penicillin and a number of other antibiotics, according to the Institute of Medicine report.

    -- A strain of salmonella is now largely resistant to all known treatments. As many as 4 million Americans annually get salmonella food poisoning.

    At least one-third of the 50 million pounds of antibiotics produced in the United States each year is given to animals, mostly as feed additives to make them healthier and grow faster. Scientists don't understand exactly why the drugs promote growth. However, the agriculture and drug industries say the practice -- known as subtherapeutic use -- is vital to ensuring there are safe and affordable supplies of beef, poultry and pork.
    Yet a growing number of scientists and health officials are questioning whether drugs used to fatten animals can somehow be transferred through the food chain to humans and trigger unwanted consequences. As early as 1984, researchers linked multidrug-resistant strains of salmonella to a farm that used antibiotics to promote growth in cattle. The report led then-U.S. Rep. Al Gore, D-Tenn., to convene a congressional hearing on potential overuse of animal drugs in agriculture.

    The debate has intensified with several recent high-profile incidents. Health officials in Minnesota last year discovered chickens sold in the Minneapolis area were infected with a strain of the microbe campylobacter that was resistant to fluoroquinones, a powerful family of antibiotics that only was approved for animal use in 1995. A strain of salmonella called DT104 that was resistant to five commonly used antibiotics killed 14 cows and sickened nine people on a Vermont dairy farm in 1997. Earlier this year, University of Maryland researchers even found vancomycin-resistant bacteria in chicken-feed pellets that reportedly had been heat-treated expressly to kill microbes before sale.

    That's all I have for you for now... Everything but the first paragraph was copied from CQ Researcher, and article entitled "Drug Resistant Bugs"... I got it online through my colleges library. :smile:
     
  10. sbeBen

    sbeBen New Member

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    In Holland it goes a lot further than this - they totally isolate all MRSA patients in a very ellaborate way. They reckon it is very effective and cases have drastically reduced.

    I do think, as someone stated before (chico8) -it is like nature is fighting back at us. (thanks Tattoomama, you already said this): Think of the over-use of anti-biotics and disinfectants. Bugs have become immune! This is why hospitals in UK don't use disinfectants to do general cleans. They are used topically and only for "Barrier Cleaning" (infected, isolation cases). I used to be a hospital domestic too!:wink:
     
  11. Not_Punny

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    I can be pretty anal about cleanliness, but I haven't heard of a "Clorox clean up"?! Doesn't it, like, bleach stuff you might not want bleached?!

    Could you clarify pretty please?!


    Good point, SBE. Any pointers on what Holland is doing differently?
     
  12. Principessa

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    Hotmilf, you only use it on hard surfaces such as counter tops, sinks, wall and floor tiles. :tongue::biggrin1: I also use it on the stove top, when I clean the refrigerator out and I wipe all the door knobs once or twice a week.
    http://www.clorox.com/img/products/headers/ccu_h1.gif

    http://www.clorox.com/img/products/headers/ccu_h2.gif
    There are some areas of the house like germy spots in your kitchen and bathroom where nothing less than the power of disinfecting bleach will do. Clorox® Clean-Up® Cleaner with Bleach is a spray cleaner that you can use throughout your kitchen and bathroom to quickly and effectively clean, disinfect, and deodorize. It removes tough stains, grease, and dirt, as well as the germs you can't see, and leaves your house sparkling clean.

    Highlights
    • Disinfects and kills 99.9% of common household bacteria in only 30 seconds*
    • Kills viruses that cause colds and flu*
    • Effective formula that removes tough stains, dirt, grease and grime
     
  13. sbeBen

    sbeBen New Member

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    Good point, SBE. Any pointers on what Holland is doing differently?[/quote] Hi chuck!:wink:

    My ex girlfriend was Dutch and she was certainly different!!! :biggrin1:

    Seriously though, as I work in the health profession, I take an interest in these matters. I saw a documantary on TV about MRSA and about how different countries were struggling to control it. They showed Holland as the pioneers. Unfortunately what they do involves , yes....money. In the UK we have the NHS paid for by citizens contributions from wages. This would be difficult to impliment as we are already taxed to the hilt. Any way, without going into too much detail I will just say that the isolation of the MRSA positive patient was very strict and also hi-tec. No visitors allowed and things passed through air tight holes with gloves into the room. Air was constantly circulated and out of the building etc. It looked rediculously over the top but the truth is it worked (or so they say hehe!).

    There are some bad things about Holland though: I think there Gardens/plantings are far too formal. Also the land is very flat. Just like East Anglia in England!:biggrin1: I like how clean they are though. Apart from Amsterdam- which is not representative of Holland so my ex told me!
     
  14. Westdick

    Westdick New Member

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    With all due respect, I just head about this on the morning shows and my first thought was..anthrax, Osama, Iraq, SARS, Mad Cow, Avian Flu and the rest of the horsemen of the apocalipse always show up when the election is up and the republicans need a quick distraction.
    If memory serves me well, a Halliburton-Chenney scandal was stopped cold when the invasion of Iraq started. True that the disease needs to be known and a remedy found, but not to be the Matt Lauer Newsplotation-of-the-week. This morning he was kissing up to the Senator that got caught as a toilet queen and, the next minute he is discussing the new plague upon us. Coincidence? No, explotation of victims and their families for a slow news week? yes.
     
  15. EagleCowboy

    EagleCowboy Well-Known Member

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    TattoedMamaMeg is right about people's love affair with the antibiotics. The problem really isn't with the antibiotics themselves, but in HOW people have taken them.

    When you are prescribed antibiotics, you have to FINISH THEM ALL. Most have taken them, then when they start to feel better, quit. Therein lies the problem. When people don't finish them like they're supposed to, even when they feel better, they have single-handedly made the bug STRONGER. And it comes back with a vengeance. Maybe not the same way, but it's still there and stronger. Then they wonder WHY nothing seems to knock out the new illness and wonder where these new superbugs are coming from.

    When my little bro was in the hospital, they had him locked up in an isolation ICU. It had it's own everything. Air intake and exit, it's own water supply and exit, to even enter the room, you had to scrub up, then enter a side room where you put on hazmat gear. Head to toe. THEN you could enter the room he was in. It was completely different from the regular ICU and cut off from everything. The staff gave you a STRICT crash course in how NOT to break sterility at any time. (it wasn't hard to learn) And if they caught you once, they read you the riot act and threatened you with quarantine. It was for everyone's safety as well as yours and the patient. They were very adamant about it.

    He was at THE best hospital in the country for this. Since this particular hospital has treated many of the same cases and never once had it spread to anywhere (and they do check and stay on top of this) they have deemed the current procedures to be very effective and not in need of changing YET.
     
  16. mattyacht

    mattyacht New Member

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    Wash hands with soap and water all the time.
    Wipe your bathroom and kitchen counters, floors, toilets, faucets, door handles, etc... with a 1:10 clorox/water solution. This bacteria is not only in hospitals HA-MRSA(Healthcare Acquired methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus), but in the community as well, CA-MRSA (Community Aquired Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus). Gyms, locker rooms, public bathrooms, car-door handles, steering wheels, and stick shifts, ATM and vending machines are petri dishes for the bacteria.
    I used to think people that use a paper towel to open a public restroom door after washing their hands to be a bit anal-retentive. Not anymore dude!!!
     
  17. DC_DEEP

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    Meg and Shiny, you both hit on some topics I had planned to discuss, and did it very well! Thank you.

    The MRSA and VRSA bacteria are almost certainly caused in part because of overuse of antibiotics, but I think an even bigger factor is people who abuse/misuse the antibiotics that have been properly prescribed for them.

    When you have a bacterial infection, and the doctor prescribes antibiotics, the greatest effect (that is, the most bacteria killed) is usually within about the first one-third of the course of treatment. The remaining two-thirds of the treatment kills the more resistant ones. An alarming number of people stop taking the prescription as soon as they begin to feel better, and give the remainder to a sick friend or family member, or save it "just in case I need it again." The problem is, that leaves the toughest, most resistant organisms behind; and they will be harder to extinguish the next time around.

    The overuse of "antibacterial soaps" is a bit of a problem too. I don't recall the studies off-hand, but apparently washing one's hands properly with plain soap and water is more effective than the average hand-washing with antibacterial soap. Also, some researchers seem to think that living in an overly-sanitized environment leads to more illness, not less, because your immune system makes the proper compensations. Without small exposure over time, you are more likely to get sicker from minor exposures.

    And njqt, I'm just wondering if that "kills 99.9% of germs" ever crossed your mind in a statistical sense... if there are a billion germs on your countertop, and you kill 99.9% of them, you are leaving behind 100 million germs. Why didn't that product kill them? Because they are stronger and more resistant? Over time, if only the strong survive (and adapt), you really have to think about how that plays out.

    While the scientists and researchers figure out ways to deal with these monsters, I don't see why better hygienic practices couldn't be taught in junior high health classes. Teach the kids how to wash their hands, how to avoid contracting and spreading many diseases, and when medication really is the way to go. I don't think doctors just hand out the antibiotics so easily, except when a parent is throwing a hissy fit in his office, demanding that he prescribe something for Suzie's common cold.
     
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