March 06, 2009 | | Comments 0
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MRSA: Not just for hospitals anymore

Not that this is news, per se–but hospitals have been receiving the bulk of MRSA-related press lately. Here’s an unusual bit of news related to the superbug:

While hospitals receive the bulk of attention in the battle to prevent methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), the “superbug” can arise in unexpected places-and recently, that unexpected place was the San Diego Zoo, the LA Times reports.

As many as 20 human caretakers were infected at the zoo. The most likely cause appears to be the first known transmission of MRSA from a zoo animal to a human. It appears that a human handler infected a baby elephant, which was being hand-raised by zookeepers because the mother elephant was unable to care for it. The calf then in turn passed the infection back to other zookeepers.

More than a third of the workers involved in caring for the calf were infected with MRSA, developing for the most part mild symptoms.

If you’re interested in reading the full Times article, it can be found here.

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Filed Under: National News


About the Author: Matt Phillion is the director of the Association for Healthcare Accreditation Professionals and a Senior Managing Editor at HCPro, Inc., where he is the editor of the monthly publication Briefings on The Joint Commission.

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