CDC Vital Signs: More Staph Prevention Needed

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a new Vital Signs report showing that more than 119,000 people suffered from bloodstream Staphylococcus aureus (staph) infections in the United States in 2017 – and nearly 20,000 died. The new data reflect rates for all Staphylococcus aureus infections: methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA).

Three things to know:

  • According to electronic health record data from more than 400 acute care hospitals and population-based surveillance data from CDC’s Emerging Infections Program, MRSA bloodstream infections in healthcare settings decreased nationally by approximately 17 percent each year between 2005 and 2012. These reductions have recently started to stall, causing concern.
  • The findings show that hospital infection control efforts successfully reduced rates of serious staph infections in the U.S. Recent data, however, show that this success is slowing and staph still threatens patients. CDC has compiled prevention strategies for healthcare facilities and health departments for the prevention of staph infections and it can be found here following the release.
  • The rise in staph infections in the community may be linked to the opioid crisis. As reported by CDC last year, 9 percent of all serious staph infections in 2016 happened in people who inject drugs — up from 4 percent in 2011. CDC is developing materials for patients who inject drugs and for their providers to help educate patients on ways to avoid infections associated with injection drug use.

Take Action

  • Tune in on March 12 at 2 p.m. for a virtual Town Hall to hear staph prevention in practice from a health department and two healthcare systems.

About Kim Rodgers

Kim Rodgers serves as a Communications Specialist at NACCHO. Her work includes promoting local health departments' best practices, as well as partner tools and resources, in infectious disease and preparedness through NACCHO's communications channels, storytelling, and outreach to various audiences.

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