Staph Infection Killing More Americans Than AIDS
Will the Bush administration take this issue more seriously than Ronald Reagan took the beginning of the AIDS epidemic?
From the Washington Post:
A dangerous germ that has been spreading around the country causes more life-threatening infections than public health authorities had thought and is killing more people in the United States each year than the AIDS virus, federal health officials reported yesterday.
The microbe, a strain of a once innocuous staph bacterium that has become invulnerable to first-line antibiotics, is responsible for more than 94,000 serious infections and nearly 19,000 deaths each year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calculated.
Although mounting evidence shows that the infection is becoming more common, the estimate published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association is the first national assessment of the toll from the insidious pathogen, officials said.
“This is a significant public health problem. We should be very worried,” said Scott K. Fridkin, a medical epidemiologist at the CDC.
Other researchers noted that the estimate includes only the most serious infections caused by the germ, known as methicillin-resistant S taphylococcus au reus (MRSA).
“It’s really just the tip of the iceberg,” said Elizabeth A. Bancroft, a medical epidemiologist at the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health who wrote an editorial in JAMA accompanying the new studies. “It is astounding.”