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Posted Tue Jan 20 2009: from Los Angeles Times:
A new MRSA threat: children's ear, nose and neck infections
The community strain of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus behind an explosion in nasty skin infections across the country is now causing ear and sinus infections and neck abscesses in children nationwide, a new study has found. Of 21,000 pediatric staphylococcus infections from 2001 to 2006, 22 percent were the aggressive community MRSA strain known to scientists as USA300. Moreover, the six-year review of data from more than 300 hospitals revealed an "alarming nationwide increase" in these infections, from just under 12 percent of in 2001 to 28 percent in 2006, according to the study published Monday in Archives of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery.... As long as staph stays where it's supposed to stay --on the outside -- it does little harm. But when it becomes invasive, slipping into a part of the body where it shouldn't be, any strain can cause severe infections of bones, joints, blood and lungs. And USA300 is particularly virulent, or capable of causing disease.
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