MRSA, C. Difficile Continue To Fall

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The Health Protection Agency has published its latest quarterly figures on MRSA (meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) bloodstream infections and C. difficile (Clostridium difficile) infections for the April to June 2009 period.

The latest figures on MRSA bloodstream infections show that there were 509 cases reported in England during the April to June quarter of 2009. This represents a 39.3% decrease in cases from the same quarter of last year (April to June 2008) when 839 cases were reported and a 26.7% decrease from the previous quarter (January to March 2009) when 694 cases were reported.

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The latest C. difficile figures show that there were 6,855 cases reported in patients aged two years and over during the April to June 2009 quarter. This represents a 37% decrease in cases from the same quarter last year (April to June 2008) when 10,883 cases were reported and an 18% decrease in reported cases from the previous quarter (January to March 2009) when 8,357 cases were reported.

Dr Christine McCartney, Executive Director for the HPA's Healthcare Associated Infection and Anti-Microbial Resistance Programme said:

"The continued reductions in healthcare associated infections over the past year and in recent months show that infection control is still top of the agenda for the NHS and tackling healthcare associated infections remain a priority for the NHS.

"These are impressive results but we cannot afford to become complacent. Health workers must continue to use effective infection control measures in order to drive down infections further."

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