Lethal MRSA-related pneumonia cases growing, new study finds

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Instances of deadly pneumonia associated with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection are on the rise. While the majority of cases still occur in nursing homes and hospitals, the super bug now appears to be thriving in the community at large, according to new reports.

Community-acquired MRSA pneumonia commonly manifests after a flu-like illness, according to researchers at the Emory University School of Medicine. Study authors are concerned that the recent outbreak of H1N1 influenza will spur the rates of MRSA pneumonia even higher. Though the community-acquired strain is less resilient against antibiotics than its facility-dwelling counterpart, it still may have a more-than-50% mortality rate, according to the report.

Researchers are as yet uncertain why the community-acquired MRSA pneumonia is so lethal, or which course of treatment is best. In January, the Department of Health and Human Services released updated guidelines for the reduction of hospital-acquired infections (HAIs). (McKnight's, 1/8) The HHS plan can be found at http://www.hhs.gov/ophs.
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