Ongoing MRSA Epidemic in the United States Continues to be Ignored

Aug 11, 2015, 08:31 ET from MRSA Survivors Network

CHICAGO, Aug. 11, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The MRSA (methicillin- resistant Staphylococcus aureus) epidemic in the United States continues to be ignored by federal and state health officials.

"The ongoing MRSA epidemic has needlessly cost hundreds of thousands of American lives and millions have been infected and colonized," states Jeanine Thomas, founder and president of MRSA Survivors Network.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released a report that essentially said that healthcare facilities should work with their State Health Departments (SHDs) to control antimicrobial resistant pathogens (ARPs).  Vital Signs: . The CDC is abdicating the responsibility of reducing infection rates to SHDs and not a federal agency. Healthcare facilities and healthcare workers look to the CDC for guidance, not the other way around. We witnessed last year all of the confusion by SHDs and hospitals concerning recommendations and protocols for the prevention and control of transmission with the Ebola virus: the same thing has been going on for decades with MRSA.

During episodes of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), the Ebola virus, Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE), etc., who did hospitals look for guidelines and recommendations for prevention and control? State Health Departments? No! The CDC. Now, to say that hospitals should look to SHDs – with their very small staff – largely funded year to year by the CDC – dedicated to healthcare epidemiology and infection control – is an abdication of responsibility. SHDs do not promulgate guidelines or recommendations for the prevention or transmission of theses ARPs, CDC does.

The vast majority of SHDs in the United States have either no or very limited staff dedicated and knowledge about healthcare epidemiology and infection control. Largely, State Health Departments have ignored healthcare-acquired infections (HAI's) for decades and have fought against publicly reporting of HAI rates and also have vigorously fought mandating screening for MRSA. HAI's continue to be a secret and silent killer today with under-reporting of HAI rates along with failure to implement a comprehensive evidence-based approach to prevent transmission of  these ARP infections, which includes active detection and isolation (ADI). SHDs along with the CDC do not even collect data on community-acquired MRSA infections which are increasing, especially in rural communities. We remain in the dark.

The CDC's inaction, lack of leadership and systemic failure for decades to recommend proven methods for prevention of ARP transmission has fueled antimicrobial resistance and put antibiotic use at risk. The Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee (HICPAC)  CDC's guidelines for controlling multidrug- resistant organisms (MDRO's) were confusing and contradictory and left many hospital infection control preventionists puzzled as to what to implement.  Despite hundreds of peer-reviewed publications and evidence of efficacy at the U.S. Veteran's Administration Hospital System, screening for MRSA was not and is still not even included in the CDC's first tier of recommendations. Despite over a decade since this Guideline was published, may additional studies documenting the efficacy of ADI to control MRSA, and nearly a decade of continued decreases in MRSA with the U.S. Veteran's Hospitals using ADI (62% reduction in MRSA at 150 hospitals), the CDC still considers active screening to be a secondary control measure for preventing MRSA transmission, yet recommends it for CRE with little or no data.

The preventable pain, suffering and loss of life by MRSA infected patients is tragic and inhumane. So many patients are left with permanent disabilities and their health destroyed along with their livelihood. The entire family is affected.

7th Annual World MRSA Day Kickoff Event and Global C. difficile Summit

This year's Global theme remains – "The MRSA Epidemic – A Call to Action". The annual awareness event will kick off World MRSA Day (Oct.2) and World MRSA Awareness Month (October) and be held September 26, 2015 at the Community House in Hinsdale, Illinois from 10:30am12:30pm. The event  is open to the public with free admission and parking and brings the healthcare industry and public  together. All are invited to attend – bring the entire family.

Gold Sponsor: Roche and NBC5 Chicago.

Main Event

Master of Ceremony is Mr. Rob Stafford, evening news anchor of NBC5 Chicago.

Opening Ceremony – Chief Golden Light Eagle, a Dakota Chief and Keynote speaker is William R. Jarvis, M.D, president of Jason & Jarvis Associates, LLC – a world renowned MRSA expert and infectious disease specialist, formerly with the CDC. Others presenting are Michael S. Pulia, M.D. 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, C. difficile and antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

Downloadable posters, brochures and banners are available at  and a public service announcement with Mr. Rob Stafford of NBC5 Chicago and produced by True Productions 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

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SOURCE MRSA Survivors Network