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MRSA infection rates in England fall by 40 per cent

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MRSA blood stream infection rates in England fell by nearly 40 per cent in the last quarter, according to latest figures from the Health Protection Agency.

Between April and June 2009 there were 509 reported cases of MRSA bacteraemia in England, a drop of 39.3 per cent compared to the same quarter in 2008 when 839 cases were reported.

The figures also represent a 26.7 per cent decrease on the 694 cases reported between January and March 2009.

A trust in Southampton has surpassed the national figures, reporting an almost 90 per cent decrease in the number of MRSA infections.

Between April and August 2009, Southampton University Hospitals NHS Trust saw the reported cases of MRSA infection drop by 87 per cent – from 15 cases to just two.

The trust has also seen a significant drop in the number of reported cases of Clostridium difficile infection, with a 39 per cent decrease in the number of cases over the same period.

This compares favourably to the national average, with the HPA figures showing a 37 per cent drop in the number of reported cases of C.diff in patients aged over two years in England.

Between April and June 2008 there were 10,883 cases compared to 6,855 cases for the same quarter this year.

Executive director for the HPA’s healthcare associated infection and anti-microbial resistance programme, Dr Christine McCartney, said: “These are impressive results but we cannot afford to become complacent. Health workers must continue to use effective infection control measures in order to drive down infections further.”

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