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'Super Bug' May Thrive in Homes Where Kids Have Staph Infections

People in the homes of children with skin and soft-tissue infections caused by the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus have a higher rate of methicillin-resistant S. aureus colonization than the general population, a new study finds.

S. aureus infection often is referred to as Staph infection. Methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) -- a serious public-health issue -- is a contagious, antibiotic-resistant strain of bacteria that causes difficult-to-treat infections in humans.

This study included 183 children with S. aureus skin and tissue infections and colonization in the nose, armpit and/or groin area, and more than 600 of their household contacts, defined as people who spent more than half their time each week in the child's home.

More than half of the household contacts were colonized with S. aureus, and 21 percent were colonized with MRSA, compared with an MRSA colonization rate of 0.8 percent to 1.5 percent in the general population, said Dr. Stephanie Fritz and colleagues at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.
 
 

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