Decline of a Superbug
Good news at last from the war on superbugs: the Journal of the American Medical Association has reported a steep downturn in the incidence of infection from MRSA, or staphylococcus aureus, which has long been the poster child for drug-resistant bacteria. (This is not a poster you want in your home.)
It seems that hospital precaution and a campaign of public awareness have made a significant dent in the number of new cases. As one science blog put it:
Researchers working with data from the US Military Health System from 2005-2010 have noticed a drop in MRSA infections — both in those who got it from the community and from hospitals. By analyzing the incidence of MRSA, both as the bacterium directly and the skin and soft tissue infections (SSTIs) it can cause, the percentage of these infections that are due to MRSA seems to be dropping.
The rate of community-caused SSTI from MRSA peaked in 2006 at 62% of infections — but by 2010, that had dropped to 52%, and the annual incidence community-onset and hospital-onset MRSA bacteremia also lowered.
I write about antibiotic overprescription and its unintended consequences from time to time because sinus surgeons and sinus ailments tend to be among the biggest precipitants of our country’s growing problem with drug resistance. Proper sinus care should involve a wide range of possible interventions, from irrigation to surgery, and nonspecialists who reflexively prescribe antibiotics at the first sign of congestion may be doing more harm than good.
So, kudos to the medical community, and especially hospitals across the nation. If you’d like a higher standard of care for sinusitis and other ENT infections, please contact my Los Angeles ENT offices here.