Mrsa | Guidelines Issued For Drug-Resistant Staph Infections

THURSDAY, Jan. 6 (HealthDay News) — An infectious disease association has released the first national guidelines for the treatment of potentially deadly methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)infections.

Initially found in health- care facilities, MRSA infections have become an increasing issue for healthy people outside hospitals. They now represent 60 percent of all skin infections treated in emergency rooms. In most cases, MRSA — strains of staph bacteria resistant to all first-line antibiotics — causes painful, red swollen bumps that are frequently mistaken for spider bites and that can usually be treated successfully if caught early.

Invasive MRSA — an infection that spreads from the skin into other parts of the body — is less common, but far more serious. About 94,360 cases of invasive MRSA were reported in the United States in 2005, and more than 18,000 of those patients died — a figure that surpassed those dying that year of AIDS.

Currently, there are wide variations in treatment approaches — something the new guidelines from the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) hopes to address.

“MRSA has become a huge public health problem and physicians often struggle with how to treat it,” guidelines lead author Dr. Catherine Liu,

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