Benson, N.C. — A study released Tuesday shows the deadly MRSA bacterial infection can help be prevented by simple social and behavioral changes.
Those changes, which include rigorous hand hygiene, better access to gowns and protective wear, proper disposal of used gowns and protective wear and more education, reduced infections by up to 62 percent, according to results of a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention analysis.
The CDC says nearly 100,000 people develop infections from MRSA, or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, every year. Approximately 19,000 die as a result. More than 85 percent of the infections are associated with time spent in health-care facilities.
The other good news from the study was that six hospitals participating in it saw increased responsiveness of infections to antibiotics, signifying that hospitals can make headway in the fight against drug-resistant "superbugs"
The study also showed that it is critical to test patients for MRSA when they are admitted and discharged.
Nationally, studies show that the rate of all hospital-acquired infections, such as MRSA, are down. Locally, it is unclear, because North Carolina is one of 24 states that do not require hospitals to report or make that information public.
There is proposed legislation that would require the information to be made public.