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News From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
July 5, 2006

Community-Associated Methicillin-Resistant

JAMA. 2006;296(1):36-38. doi:10.1001/jama.296.1.36

MMWR. 2006;55:329-332

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection has long been associated with exposure in health-care settings but emerged in the late 1990s among previously healthy adults and children in the community. Community-associated MRSA (CA-MRSA) infections most commonly are skin and soft-tissue infections; however, certain cases can progress to invasive tissue infections, bacteremia, and death.1 This report describes two independent investigations by local health departments, assisted by CDC, into outbreaks of MRSA skin infection among otherwise healthy, full-term newborns delivered at hospitals in Chicago, Illinois, and Los Angeles County, California. In both locations, MRSA transmission likely occurred in the newborn nursery; however, laboratory testing identified the MRSA strain as one that was described initially in association with CA-MRSA infections and outbreaks and that differs from predominant health-care–associated MRSA (HA-MRSA) strains. The findings from these investigations underscore (1) the need for health-care providers to be aware that MRSA can cause skin infections among otherwise healthy newborns and (2) the importance of adhering to standard infection-control practices,* including consistent hand hygiene, in newborn nurseries.

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