Singapore News

News from Singapore

800 patients infected with superbug last year

Posted by jtsmyth8 on November 16, 2007

800 patients caught a drug-resistant superbug in public hospitals last year, resulting in longer hospitalisations. The bacteria, Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus or MRSA, is found in all hospitals here as it is in most countries, including the United States and Britain.

The Ministry of Health, which issued a paper on this on Friday, said the rate of hospital infection in Singapore, at 2.5 cases per 1,000 patients, compares well against the US, where nearly four per 1,000 patients in 1999-2000 caught the bug in hospital.

Many healthy people carry MRSA on their skin or in their noses. It becomes a problem only if it enters the body through a wound in the skin. Aside from causing skin infections, it can attack bones, joints, the blood and vital organs like the lungs.

It is easily spread through dirty hands, as well as dirty bedding, towels and equipment.

The ministry said the rate of hospital infection here has improved in recent years. It stood at 3 per 1,000 patients in 2002. (story)

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