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Philadelphia Woman Suffers Hospital Staph Infection From Overuse of Antibiotics

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Philadelphia, PNA kidney dialysis patient at Pennsylvania Hospital has developed a rare form of hospital staph infection, possibly as a result of overuse of antibiotics.

The woman, who according to the Philadelphia Inquirer suffered the infection prior to transferring to the University of Pennsylvania-owned hospital, has come down with a vancomycin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (VRSA). The infection is caused by an overexposure to vancomycin, a powerful drug commonly used to protect patients with weak or no kidney function from bacterial infections.

Neil Fishman, an infectious disease expert at Penn, recently told the Inquirer that the infection is not particularly virulent and is treatable with other antibiotics. The rare condition is said to arise from a combination of the more common MRSA infection and the drug-resistant bacteria vancomycin-resistant enterococcus (VRE).

"[This case] underscores the need for monitoring of antibiotic use and the importance of infectious-control protocols such as hand-washing to limit the spread of not only this organization but other multidrug-resistant organisms," infectious disease doctor Deena Athas of Thomas Jefferson University told the news provider.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this is the first incidence of VRSA infection in the US since 2007.


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