Facts about MRSA and Staph
Recent news reports have made us all aware of the dangers of drug-resistant infections, especially MRSA. A summary of the key MRSA figures and Staph infection data is helpful to understand what these infections are and how they can be controlled.
The following MRSA fact sheet shows the prevalence, trends and potential dangers associated with MRSA and Staph infections. The facts about MRSA below come from medical studies, government reports and other resources.
Current MRSA fact sheet
- Drug resistant Staph infections are responsible for 1.2 million hospital infections each year, according to a 2007 APIC study.
- In 2005, 94,000 life-threatening infections and nearly 19,000 deaths resulted from MRSA, accounting for more deaths than AIDS, emphysema or homicide (source: CDC).
- Resistant Staph causes more than 20 percent of all hospital infections.
- Over 30% of the U.S. population are carriers of Staph bacteria on their bodies.
- MRSA is the most common cause of skin infections seen in emergency rooms in the U.S. (2006, New England Journal of Medicine).
- The number of children hospitalized with resistant Staph infections was 10 times higher from 2000 to 2010 than in the previous decade (USA Today).
- The average age of people who get this infection from their community (community-acquired or CA-MRSA) is only 23 years old.
- MRSA hospitalizations are still 3 times higher for the elderly than for any other age group.
- On average, hospital stays for MRSA infections cost $6,400 more than the typical hospital stay (2007 HCUP Brief). The length of the hospital stay is also 5 days longer than average.
- In 2008, a strain of MRSA resistant to the drug Zyvox, one of the “last resort” antibiotics, was identified. In 1996, the first Staph strain with resistance to Vancomycin, another last resort drug, was reported in Japan.
- MRSA is most common in the U.S., the U.K., and Australia. In Europe, the U.K. has the highest incidence and the Netherlands has the lowest incidence. It is also becoming more common in Mexico, Canada, India, areas of South East Asia and Northern Africa.
- Some studies show MRSA is more prevalent in the warmer and more Southern areas of the U.S., including Atlanta, Texas, Los Angeles and Florida (2007 HCUP Brief).
- According to the CDC, from 2005 to 2008, the number of MRSA infections dropped by 9.4% each year in hospitals and by 5.7% each year in other health-care settings.
Do you know these lesser known facts?
This additional information can be helpful if you or a family member are struggling with these infections:
- There are ten times as many bacteria living inside and on your body than your own human body cells. Most of these bacteria live on your skin and in your digestive tract. Most of these bacteria are actually beneficial and vital to your health. Bottom line: You can not live without bacteria.
- Bacteria are very small, much smaller than the cells that make up the human body. It takes approximately 1000 bacteria to span the width of a pin-head.
- This is a bacteria infection, not a virus. Viruses are much smaller than bacteria and are responsible for diseases like smallpox, rabies, the flu, and common colds.
- Antibiotics are made to work against bacteria only. Antibiotics do not work against viruses.
- Staph bacteria are a normal and harmless part of many people’s skin flora. There are over thirty different types of Staph bacteria and they can live on other organisms and in the soil.
- Research performed by Dr. Lida Mattman has scientifically proven that some bacteria (including Staph) have learned how to change form and go into hiding inside your body for long periods of time. These so-called L-form “stealth” bacteria are hard to detect and resist most antibiotics.
- These infections can also form biofilm colonies as a barrier against antibiotic treatments and your own immune system. Biofilms create effective hiding places for bacteria inside your body. They can render many treatments unsuccessful.
- Secondary and recurring infections are very common. Secondary infections can be bacterial infections (including C. difficile), fungal infections (including yeast, thrush and Candida) and viral infections.
- There are still many effective options available for treating and preventing these infections. Read below for more details.
- To see a clear picture of how to overcome this superbug infection find out about the Top Seven MRSA Myths.