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Many superbugs go unreported

April 28, 2009
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WASHINGTON — Despite the recent rise in cases of superbugs like Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Clostridium difficile (C. diff), many American hospitals are still not required to report cases to either state or federal governments, according to Foster''s Daily Democrat.
Dr. Betsy McCaughey, chairwoman of the Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths, says that if hospitals were forced to make infection rate information public, it would make them more accountable and they''d be forced to reduce their infection rates, the story stated.
As of now, 25 states require hospitals to report superbug infections, while four states have voluntary reporting and another five are conducting studies to see if voluntary reporting will help reduce infection rates, the story noted.
About 95,000 serious infections and 20,000 deaths due to drug-resistant Staphylococcus bacteria occur in the U.S. each year, the story added.
Ed Neister, owner of Healthy Environment Innovations, said: "The problem we see is the states that do not require ... reporting continue to sweep the problem under the rug."
According to the story, several Canadian provinces and the United Kingdom require all cases of MRSA and other superbugs and England even requires hospital infection rates be posted on the front door.
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