A new study from Emory University researchers, in response to a “growing concern about the recent worldwide MRSA epidemic,” shows an “alarming” increase of pediatric MRSA infections of the head and neck.
The Emory team discovered a 16.3% increase of pediatric MRSA infections after looking at a total of 21 009 pediatric head and neck S aureus infections between January 2001 and December 31, 2006. According to Steven E. Sobol, MD, MSc, primary investigator of the study and director of Pediatric Otolaryngology in the Department of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery at Emory, "Previous studies have established that skin and soft tissue infections in some communities are due to MRSA. However, it has been observed in several institutions that there is a significant rise in pediatric head and neck infections as well."
Dr. Sobol also says, “There is a nationwide increase in the prevalence of MRSA in children with head and neck infections that is alarming. Clinicians must use antibiotic agents judiciously in order to reduce further antimicrobial drug resistance."
Between 2001 and 2006, MRSA infections from staphylococcus aureus rose from 11.8% in 2001, to 27.2% in 2004. By 2006, MRSA infections studied was 28.1%. MRSA was responsible for pediatric mouth and throat, sinus, nose, and ear infections, with the majority of cases occurring in males (51.7%).
The authors concluded, “Judicious use of antibiotic agents and increased effectiveness in diagnosis and treatment [of MRSA] are warranted to reduce further antimicrobial drug resistance in pediatric head and neck infections. Dr. Sobol suggests that clinicians keep a focus on testing for MRSA among pediatric patients, and advocates that further MRSA studies be performed to gain further insight into the MRSA superbug, now affecting increasing numbers of children.
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