MRSA is a Major Global Health Threat

Aug 13, 2014, 08:31 ET from MRSA Survivors Network

CHICAGO, Aug. 13, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Antibiotic resistance continues at an alarming rate with the indiscriminate overuse of antibiotics given to humans and animals. The number one pathogen is MRSA – methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, an antibiotic resistant form of Staphylococcus and at epidemic levels in the United States and worldwide. MRSA and antibiotic resistance (AR) must to be a top political priority.

"How can we ever hope to control an Ebola or SARS outbreak in the United States when we have not controlled MRSA and other healthcare-acquired infections (HAI) for decades? The answer is we won't ", says Jeanine Thomas, founder of the Chicago-based nonprofit MRSA Survivors Network and founder of World MRSA Day, October 2 and World MRSA Awareness Month – October. The global theme is: "The MRSA Epidemic – A Call to Action".

Barry M. Farr MD MSc, professor emeritus at UVA states, "In the 1980s, guidelines in northern European countries such as the Netherlands and in Western Australia began to specify routine use of active detection and isolation (ADI) for controlling MRSA infections. Over the next couple of decades, MRSA infections were controlled to exceedingly low levels in Northern European countries and in the state of Western Australia. Meanwhile, MRSA infection rates rose progressively in American hospitals." UVA was the first hospital in the United States to screen for MRSA in 1978 and controlled it.

It still remains unclear why the Centers for Disease Control and Protection (CDC) continues to ignore over 300 evidence-based studies along with 500 abstracts and entire countries using the approach of ADI to control MRSA. The Veteran's Administration (VA), another U.S. Federal Agency implemented ADI in 2007 in all of their healthcare facilities and dramatically reduced MRSA infections.

More Americans die every year from invasive MRSA infections than from HIV/AIDS and costs the government over $21 billion dollars annually. Hundreds of thousands of lives could have been saved and millions of patients would not have been infected with MRSA. MRSA is a treatable, but often an incurable disease. The human toll from this preventable disease has been great.

A  comprehensive, bundled approach is imperative to control HAI's: ADI, strict adherence to hand hygiene, decontamination of the environment and good antibiotic stewardship.

The World Health Organization's (WHO) report released in April acknowledges the antibiotic resistance global health crisis and they must set up and implement a worldwide MRSA surveillance and reporting system. Such a system would facilitate the collection of data on MRSA infections and colonization in humans and animals with a public release of such data on a designated website. This would illustrate the true magnitude of the MRSA epidemic and public health crisis worldwide. Transparency is imperative.

6th Annual World MRSA Day Event & Global C. difficile Summit – Streaming Live

The annual awareness event will be held October 2, 2014 at the Community House in Hinsdale, Illinois from 7-9pm (CDT) and is open to the public with free admission and parking. The event can also be viewed live on the MRSA Survivors Network's website. This annual event is informative for both the public and healthcare industry and all are invited to attend.

Gold Sponsor – Roche, Bronze Sponsor -Theravance and media sponsor NBC5 Chicago.

Main Event

Master of Ceremony is Dr. Sandy Goldberg of NBC5 Chicago.

Keynote speaker is William R. Jarvis MD, president of Jason & Jarvis Associates, LLC – a world renowned MRSA expert and infectious disease specialist, formerly with the CDC. Other experts presenting are Lance R. Peterson MD of NorthShore University HealthSystems and Michael Pulia MD from University of Wisconsin/Madison along with survivors sharing their stories.  A panel discussion will follow with the public and media asking questions to the experts concerning, MRSA and C. difficile in healthcare facilities and in the community and antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

Remembrance Ceremony

The Remembrance Ceremony will be conducted by Reverend Henry Soles with a prayer and moment of silence and also prayers and song by Chief Golden Light Eagle, a Dakota Chief. MRSA Survivor Network's members who have passed away will be honored in memoriam.

Award Ceremony

MRSA Survivors Network is proud to announce the recipient of their 'Person of the Year 2014' award to Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Unite and Virgin Group.  Sir Richard has worked since 2008 to raise awareness for MRSA. The 'Barry M. Farr Humanitarian Award' recipient is Reverend Henry Soles, senior chaplain for the Chicago Bulls and the 'MRSA Youth Champion 2014' is Bethany Burke of Austin, Texas.

Co-chairs of the annual event are: Jeanine Thomas – founder/president of MRSA Survivors Network and Pat Merryweather – Executive Director of Telligen.

Honorary committee members: Illinois Senate President John Cullerton, Illinois House Republican Leader Jim Durkin, State Rep. Patti Bellock and State Rep. Sandra Pihos.

Other Events

First Annual MRSA Survivors Network "Miles for MRSA" Fun Run/Walk was held August 9, 2014 in Las Cruces, NM and organized by MSN member Joseph Paz.

2nd Annual MRSA Awareness and Fundraiser at Saline Antiques & Vintage Market, August 61-17, 2014 in Ann Arbor, MI at the Washtenaw Farm Council Grounds. For info: or 937-875-0808.

First Annual MRSA Awareness Charity Fashion Show and Party, Sunday August 24, 2014 from 4:30-7:30pm at the Veranda, 509 Ship St. Jt. Joseph, MI. For more info: or (269) 363-6953.

Downloadable posters, brochures and banners are available at  and a public service announcement with Mr. Rob Stafford of NBC5 Chicago and produced by TrueProductions will air on NBC Chicago stations and can also be viewed on MRSA Survivors Network YouTube Channel and websites.

For information on how you can become a Corporate Sponsor(sponsorships and donations are tax deductible), organize an event, donate, volunteer and get involved to make a difference, contact us at: 630 325-4354, , and at

SOURCE MRSA Survivors Network