CDC: 119,000+ US residents contracted staph in 2017, as progress to stem it slows

Bloodstream Staphylococcus aureus infections are still a threat in the U.S., and after early success in reducing serious staph infection rates, progress has slowed, according to a Vital Signs report released by the CDC.

In 2017, more than 119,000 people contracted bloodstream staph infections and nearly 20,000 died.

While EHR data for 400-plus acute care hospitals and data from CDC's Emerging Infections Program shows that methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bloodstream infections in healthcare settings decreased by around 17 percent nationally each year between 2005 and 2012, the reductions have stalled. Additionally, rates of methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus infections that started outside of a healthcare setting increased by 4 percent each year from 2012 to 2017.

The CDC is calling for healthcare organizations to improve staph prevention techniques, including encouraging implementation of CDC recommendations such as those related to use of contact precautions.

Additionally, multifaceted MRSA prevention programs could help significantly reduce the infection rate. The Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers reduced staph infections by 43 percent between 2005 and 2017 by implementing a program that included MRSA screening, use of contact precautions and an emphasis on hand hygiene and other infection prevention strategies.

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