MRSA cases may be waning as fears of new superbug emerge

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The number of cases of the dangerous methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteria are declining, but a new superbug could be spreading from India, according to two reports.  

Between 2005 and 2008, severe cases of MRSA contracted in healthcare settings fell by 28%, the Centers for Disease Control and Protection said Tuesday. While the study only represents nine metropolitan areas and doesn't necessarily represent the nation as a whole, it's still a good sign, according to CDC researcher Dr. Alexander Kallen. One possible reason for the decrease in infections could be the success of preventive measures in healthcare settings. Still, researchers admitted they aren't certain why MRSA is declining, according to the CDC report, which appears in the Journal of the American Medical Association. 

In another report, British scientists are warning that a new superbug that is resistant to most antibiotics could be moving west from India. A gene called NDM-1 has been discovered to alter bacteria in such a way that it becomes almost impervious to antibiotics, according to a report published Wednesday in the journal Lancet Infectious Diseases. The superbug could spread to the United Kingdom and United States as people travel to India to receive less costly medical procedures, the researchers suggest. The bug has already been found in the U.K., U.S., Netherlands, Canada, Australia and Sweden.

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