Tensions Rise Over Publicly Disclosing Superbug
April 23, 2009 -- Dee Dee Vallier gets calls and emails almost every day from people who were either affected personally or had a family member affected by a multi-drug resistant Staph infection.
Known as MRSA (methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus) or the superbug, the skin infection most often occurs at hospitals. And it can kill.
Vallier, a longtime infection awareness advocate, runs the group Americans Mad and Angry based in Hood River. By far, MRSA infections are the most common thing she hears about.
Details left to committee
As the name implies, MRSA resists the drugs used to fight other types of Staph infections. Mortality rates for MRSA, though difficult to determine, are generally greater than other pathogens acquired at a healthcare setting. They are also one of the most prolific and therefore get the most noticed.
Jim Dameron, advisory committee co-chair who also administers the Oregon Patient Safety Commission, said the MRSA reporting issue is actively being debated. “We haven’t struck a deal yet on whether (the reports released next year) will show what percentage of infections are caused by MRSA,” Dameron said.