More children being hospitalized for MRSA infection

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New research published today in the journal Pediatrics finds that the number of children being admitted to the hospital for antibiotic-resistant staph infections has surged dramatically in recent years. As the Associated Press reports, the rate of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus infections (MRSA) grew from 2 per 1,000 hopsital admissions to 21 between 1999 and 2008.

The research, which included 25 children’s hospitals across the U.S., found that nearly 30,000 children were admitted for MRSA infections during the decade studied. The team of researchers, led by Dr. Jason Newland of Children’s Mercy Hospitals and Clinics and the University of Missouri, Kansas City, say those figures point to a 10-fold increase in MRSA infections among children nationwide, the AP reports.

What’s more, while previously MRSA was most commonly spread in hospitals and other health institutions such as nursing homes, in this latest study, the majority of children with MRSA infections acquired them in the community, suggesting that “hospital-acquired MRSA cases may be declining while community-acquired cases are becoming more common,” according to the AP.