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Study: One in four carry MRSA in nursing homes

June 05, 2009
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BELFAST, Ireland — A recent study by Queen’s University Belfast and Antrim Area Hospital has found that one in four residents in nursing homes carry methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteria, according to Infection Control Today.
The findings, which have been published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, highlight the need to increase infection control strategies in nursing homes and other health care facilities, the story stated.
For the study, swabs from 1,111 residents and 553 staff in 45 nursing homes in the United Kingdom were taken and studied, the story noted.
According to the study, 24 percent of residents and 7 percent of staff were found to be colonized with MRSA, meaning they were carrying the bacteria but not showing signs of infection or illness.
Dr. Paddy Kearney, a consultant medical microbiologist with the Northern Health and Social Care Trust, said: "We decided to carry out the study after noticing an apparent increase in recent years in the number of patients who had MRSA when they were admitted to hospital from nursing homes. In hospitals, routine checks are carried out to identify those most at risk of MRSA colonization (carrying it on their skin and/or nose) and infection control policies are put in place but this is not always feasible in private nursing homes."
To combat this potential problem, educating both patients and staff about MRSA and increasing cleaning frequency and efficiency is crucial, the story added.
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