MRSA is a type of bacteria that causes serious infections and is resistant to powerful antibiotics

APIC Launches Round Two of MRSA Prevalence Survey

As a follow-up to its national MRSA prevalence study conducted in 2006, the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology has launched the "2010 National U.S. Inpatient Healthcare Facility Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) Prevalence Survey."

The new study will provide updated information about MRSA in U.S. health care facilities and will be used to help drive awareness for greater resources for infection prevention, APIC says. Survey results will be published in early 2011.

APIC's 2006 national MRSA prevalence study showed that 46 out of every 1,000 inpatients in the study were either infected or colonized with MRSA -- a far higher rate than previous estimates. The 2010 follow-up survey will compare the current MRSA prevalence rate with the rate found in 2006. APIC said the results will enable the association to estimate the impact of recently implemented control measures on the MRSA prevalence and incidence rates.

"We are pleased to be undertaking this important research," said APIC CEO Kathy Warye. "The new survey will provide the most up-to-date understanding of the prevalence of MRSA in U.S. healthcare facilities and whether prevention efforts have been effective since our original survey. We plan to disseminate the results broadly to help hospitals improve their efforts to reduce the transmission of MRSA and to raise awareness of the need for adequately resourced infection prevention programs."

MRSA is a type of bacteria that causes serious infections and is resistant to powerful antibiotics, including methicillin. In the United States, MRSA is associated with an estimated 19,000 deaths annually. A single case of MRSA can cost more than $60,000 to treat, APIC said.

All U.S. health care facilities are encouraged to participate in APIC's 2010 MRSA prevalence survey. The deadline for participation is August 1, 2010. For more information, click here.

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