View Full Version : Drug-resistant staph on the rise, study finds

08-16-2006, 08:55 PM
Superbug causes over half of ER-treated skin infections in U.S.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006; Posted: 7:18 p.m. EDT (23:18 GMT)

(AP) -- A once-rare drug-resistant germ now appears to cause more than half of all skin infections treated in U.S. emergency rooms, say researchers who documented the superbug's startling spread in the general population.

Many victims mistakenly thought they just had spider bites that wouldn't heal, not drug-resistant staph bacteria. Only a decade ago, these germs were hardly ever seen outside of hospitals and nursing homes.

Doctors also were caught off-guard -- most of them unwittingly prescribed medicines that do not work against the bacteria.

"It is time for physicians to realize just how prevalent this is," said Dr. Gregory Moran of Olive View-UCLA Medical Center, who led the study.

Another author, Dr. Rachel Gorwitz of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said: "I think no one was aware of the extent of the problem."