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Kristina Labanauskas
Kristina Labanauskas
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Staph Infections on the Rise in Kids: Wash Hands Frequently

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A new national study, published in the Archives of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, found that the incidence of such infections as ear, nose, and throat, blamed on methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) grew by 16 percent from 2001-2006. And, while MRSA was once confined to hospitals and health-care settings, now these infections occur outside of such settings.

The researchers analyzed drug-resistance test results for 21,000 pediatric patients from 300 hospitals over the six-year period. Of these, 28 percent tested positive for MRSA in 2006, compared with 11 percent in 2001. Illinois showed a similar trend.

The author of the study noted that there is no need to panic but rather that awareness among pediatricians and parents is essential.

MRSA is usually spread through skin-to-skin contact or through items that have been used by an infected person. MRSA is resistant to certain antibiotics, including methicillin and other more common antibiotics such as oxacillin, penicillin and amoxicillin.

One of the best ways to avoid infection is to frequently wash hands. Also, if your child’s ear or nasal infection persists, seek medical attention.