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Thirty years ago, MRSA accounted for 2 percent of staph infections.By 2003, 64 percent of staph infections were caused by MRSA.
The staph bacterium continues to evolve and is beginning to show resistance to additional antibiotics.
In 2002 the first staph strains were found that are resistant to vancomycin, an antibiotic that is one of the few available treatments used as a last resort against MRSA.
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According to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States in 2005, more 94,000 people developed life-threatening infections caused by MRSA; nearly 19,000 people died during hospital stays related to these MRSA infections.
The majority of MRSA cases, 85 percent, were associated with healthcare facilities, while approximately 14 percent occurred in individuals with no known exposure to healthcare.
The first type, healthcare-acquired MRSA (HA-MRSA), has been recognized since the 1960s.
Strains of staph were identified in patients in hospital and healthcare facilities that were resistant to methicillin (resistance to penicillin had occurred even earlier).
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Staphylococcus aureus, often referred to as “staph”, is a common type of bacterium that is found in about 25 to 30 percent of healthy people, primarily on the skin or in the nose.