Fighting a Hospital Superbug Reveals an Unexpected Benefit
The dreaded MCR is resistant to last-ditch drugs. But one solution for reducing its spread has been operating in plain sight.
The new “superbug” known as MCR has medical authorities wondering how to prevent it from spreading. A new report in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases reveals that an infection-control program can reduce transmission of the gut bacteria that can carry MCR by more than 40 percent. The remarkable thing: The program was designed to combat a different infectious threat.
Its intended target? MRSA, better known as drug-resistant staph. The program at the Veterans Administration Health Care System was created in 2007, at what may have been the height of concern over the presence of MRSA in the United States. That year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that MRSA caused 18,650 deaths and 94,360 serious infections