Also Mirrored at: New Zealand MRSA Infections Up 3500 pct
New Zealand Cases of antibiotic-resistant superbug methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) have exploded since 2004.
Infections have risen from 12 case in 2004 at least 420 reported cases in 2008 (a rise of 3500 percent), according to figures released by NZ Ministry of Health.
Group A streptococcus bacterium, which causes rheumatic fever and can lead arthritis and heart damage, is immune to common antibiotics. In some cases patients infected with the bacterium do not survive.
Unfortunately, New Zealand Government has hidden this information from the professionals and failed to warn the public for nearly 5 years.
In an outbreak at Wellington Hospital in 2004 three babies died and at least 30 others infected. Health workers also revealed an outbreak of group A streptococcus bacterium, which had infected at least 32 children in Kaikohe, New Zealand. However, the government prevented any follow-up information on that case from being released.
Bacterial cells of Staphylococcus aureus, which is one of the causal agents of mastitis in dairy cows. Its large capsule protects the organism from attack by the cow’s immunological defenses. Magnified 50,000X. (Source)
“A new, virulent superbug has established itself in New Zealand ,” NZ Green Party health spokesperson Sue Kedgley reportedly said today.
Kedgley said New Zealand Government, in response to her written questions, had confirmed that the superbug USA300 had taken hold, with cases rising from 12 to 420 in the last four years, the report said.
“This strain is contagious, easily misdiagnosed and resistant to many antibiotics,” she said.
“It is a cause of huge concern overseas because it is virulent and contagious and is associated with serious skin infection outbreaks, particularly amongst sports teams.”
“This strain of MRSA is contagious, easily misdiagnosed and resistant to many antibiotics,” said Ms Kedgley.
“It is a cause of huge concern overseas, because it is virulent and contagious, and is associated with serious skin infection outbreaks, particularly amongst sports teams.”
“The Government has failed to set up a national surveillance system that the Green Party secured funding for last year. The weekly monitoring programme for the superbug MRSA was stopped in 2005. It appears that DHBs have been left to cope in isolation with this new outbreak,” Ms Kedgley said.
What is Staphylococcus aureus? [Source: CDC]
Staphylococcus aureus, often referred to simply as “staph,” is a bacteria commonly found on the skin and in the nose of healthy people. Occasionally, staphylococci can get into the body and cause an infection. This infection can be minor (such as pimples, boils, and other skin conditions) or serious and sometimes fatal (such as blood infections or pneumonia). Staph. aureus is a common organism and can be found in the nostrils of up to 30% of persons. Person-to-person transmission is the usual form of spread and occurs through contact with secretions from infected skin lesions, nasal discharge or spread via the hands.
What is MRSA?
MRSA are staphylococci that are resistant to the antibiotic, methicillin, and other commonly used antibiotics such as penicillin and cephalosporins. These germs have a unique gene that causes them to be unaffected by all but the highest concentrations of these antibiotics. Therefore, alternate antibiotics must be used to treat persons infected with MRSA. Vancomycin has been the most effective and reliable drug in these cases, but is used intravenously and is not effective for treatment of MRSA when taken by mouth.
More information on MRSA from CDC: Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus
In 2005, MRSA killed 19,000 people in the United States—more than 1.5 times as many people than died of AIDS that year.
- Outbreak of Dangerous Group A Streptococcus Bacterium in NZ
- Urgent Health Warning: Outbreak of Staphylococcus aureus
- Baby died after infection breakout
- Stuff New Zealand
- High levels of dangerous bacterium in Kaikohe