Virginia Records Nearly 1,400 MRSA Infections In Last Year

Virginia's Health Department is releasing data about MRSA, a staph bacteria that's resistant to some antibiotics. There were almost 1,400 cases in the first year the state tracked the infections, and the state says at least 35 people have died from MRSA infections since Dec. 1, 2007. Only about 30 percent of the cases reported in the last year listed a known outcome, so the number of deaths could be even higher.

Gov. Tim Kaine ordered medical labs across Virginia to report the more serious cases to the Health Department last year, following the death of a 17-year-old boy from Bedford County.

Christopher Novak, an epidemiologist with the Virginia Department of Health, says the data will be more helpful in tracking trends as more time passes.

Novak said Virginia's numbers appear to be similar to what's going on nationally. There were more than 94,000 invasive MRSA infections in the United States in 2005, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That included 18,000 deaths.

Rebecca Blatt reports...

Listen to the complete story at

Copyright 2008 WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio. All Rights Reserved.

Copyright WAMUo - WAMU
Contact Us