10 May 2007

MRSA pneumonia deaths in children - on the rise?

On Wednesday afternoon, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention pushed out an official Health Advisory (an electronic communication to state and local health departments) asking them to report any children in their area who have died from MRSA pneumonia. Deaths seem to be on the rise. Money quote:
Only one influenza and S. aureus co-infection was identified in 2004-2005, and 3 were identified in 2005-2006. Of the 16 children reported with S. aureus so far in 2006-2007, 11children had methicillin-resistant (MRSA) isolated from a sterile site (9) or sputum (2), and 5 had methicillin-susceptible S.aureus isolated from a sterile site (3) or sputum (2). ... Children with influenza and S. aureus co-infections were reported to be in good health before illness onset but progressed rapidly to severe illness. Influenza strains isolated from these children have not been different from common strains circulating in the community and the MRSA strains have been typical of those associated with MRSA skin infection outbreaks in the United States.
The possibility always exists that surveillance has changed - in other words, that more cases are being found because doctors are authorities are looking harder for them. Still, the rise is troubling.

Here's the full text: Influenza-Associated Pediatric Mortality and the Increase of Staphylococcus aureus co-infection

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