MRSA infection rates down in communities, healthcare settings, study finds

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Rates of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infections are on the decline in both healthcare facilities and in community settings, a new study found.

San Antonio Military Medical Center researchers reviewed data from 9.2 million active and non-active military personnel and their immediate families, and looked at the first positive MRSA test. They found that while the percentage of skin and soft-tissue infections caused by MRSA in the community peaked at 62%, it was down by 10% in 2010.

A study from the U.S. Department of Defense also found that the rate of serious infections, called bacteremia caused by MRSA, dropped between 2005 and 2010 in both community and hospital settings.

"These observations, taken together with the results from others showing decreases in the rates of health care-associated infections from MRSA, suggest that broad shifts in the epidemiology of S. aureus infections may be occurring," study author Michael Landrum, M.D. wrote.

The study was published in the July 4 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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