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August 5, 1998

Community-Acquired Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus

Author Affiliations

Margaret A.WinkerMDIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 1998;280(5):421-422. doi:10-1001/pubs.JAMA-ISSN-0098-7484-280-5-jbk0805

To the Editor.—The study by Herold and colleagues1 was timely, as we recently investigated community-acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in a family in Los Angeles County, California. On August 25, 1997, a 38-year-old Samoan man went to his physician with a 4-day history of an abscess on his back. He was empirically treated with intramuscular penicillin and oral dicloxacillin. Three weeks later, the diagnosis of "probable zoster" was made, and additional antibiotics were given. In October, the patient continued to be ill with boils on his legs, arm, abdomen, and hip, and brought his 10-year-old son, who had similar abscesses on his nostril, ear lobe, and elbow. A culture of a draining leg abscess taken from the patient and cultures taken from the elbow and nose of the child were positive for MRSA. The patient was treated with ciprofloxacin and rifampin, while his son was treated with oral erythromycin. Lesions resolved for both individuals with treatment. Neither patient had any known underlying risk factor for MRSA. The county health department was contacted for consultation.

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