ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Climate Change Could Sting Allergy, Asthma Sufferers
Know Your Asthma Triggers
Air Quality Better in Northeast, Midwest
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Wristbands May Lessen Nausea After Radiation
Meditation May Boost Short-Term Visual Memory
Insight on Herbals Eludes Doctors, Patients Alike
ANIMAL CARE
Safe Toys for Dogs
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Beware of Dog Bites
BONES & JOINTS
Genes May Help Drive Rotator Cuff Injury
More Faces Being Spared in Motor Vehicle Accidents
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
CANCER
Want to Stop Cancer? You Can, Experts Say
Lifting Weights Can Ease Arm Swelling in Breast Cancer Survivors
Multiple Screening Strategy Boosts Cervical Cancer Detection
CAREGIVING
Mom's Smoking May Lead to SIDS
High Rate of Rehospitalizations Costing Billions
Hispanic Children More Likely to Have Hearing Loss
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Tai Chi and Qigong Offer Many Health Benefits: Review
Vitamins Do Older Women Little Good
Migraines in Pregnancy Boost Vascular Risks
COSMETIC
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
DENTAL, ORAL
Sports Drinks May Be Tough on Teeth
Obesity Boosts Gum Disease Risk
Biological Product Shows Promise Against Gum Disease
DIABETES
Vitamin K Slows Insulin Resistance in Older Men
24 Million Americans Had Diabetes in 2007
Spices, Herbs Boost Health for Diabetics
DIET, NUTRITION
Trans Fat Labeling Gets Tricky
Eating Healthy : You Can Live Longer
Mediterranean Diet Plus Exercise Lowers Alzheimer's Risk
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Vest Monitors 'Individual' Air Pollution
Seasons Arriving 2 Days Earlier, Study Says
Staying Slim Is Good for the Environment
EYE CARE, VISION
'Blind' Man Navigates Obstacle Course Without Error
Action-Filled Video Games Boost Adult Vision
Sports Eye Injuries Leading Cause of Blindness in Youths
FITNESS
Occupational Therapy Plus Exercise Benefits Osteoarthritis
Avoiding a Holiday Season of Discontent
The Juice From Beetroots May Boost Stamina
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
GENERAL HEALTH
Swine Flu Fatality Rate a 'Little Bit' Higher Than That of Seasonal Flu
Have Fun This Summer, But DO Be Careful
Eat Light - Live Longer
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
The Internet Is Becoming One-Stop Shopping for Health Help
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Lack of Vitamin D Linked to High Blood Pressure
Irregular Heartbeat Tied to Alzheimer's Disease
Women Who Run May Benefit From Extra Folic Acid
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
Poor Restroom Cleaning Causes Cruise-Ship Sickness
Viral Infection Might Trigger High Blood Pressure
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Treat Kids to a Safe Halloween
Obese Children More Likely to Suffer Lower Body Injuries
Green Tea May Help Brain Cope With Sleep Disorders
MEN'S HEALTH
More Vitamin C May Mean Less Chance of Gout
Physical Activity May Prolong Survival After Colon Cancer
Countdown to Hair Loss
MENTAL HEALTH
Meaningful Conversations Boost Kids' Language Skills
Daily dose of beet juice promotes brain health in older adults
17 Ways to Create the Perfect Workday
PAIN
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Pre-Pregnancy Weight Linked to Babies' Heart Problems
Exercise Boosts Bone Density in Breast-Feeding Moms
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
SENIORS
Protein Deposits May Show Up Before Memory Problems Occur, Study Says
Nighttime Urination Linked to Higher Death Rate Among Elderly
A Little Alcohol May Stave Off Alzheimer's
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Vitamin D Good for Breast Cancer Patients
Soy May Not Lead to Denser Breasts
Natural Oils Help Lower Body Fat For Some
Add your Article

MRSA Infections Spreading to Kids in Community

MONDAY, Jan. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Antibiotic-resistant infections around the head and neck are on the rise among American children, a new report indicates.

The finding suggests that tougher strains of the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus -- referred to as MRSA because of their resistance to the antibiotic methicillin -- are moving beyond the traditional confines of hospitals and into the community at large.

"We certainly found that the emergence of resistant staph head and neck infections in pediatric settings is on the rise," said study co-author Dr. Steven E. Sobol, director of the department of pediatric otolaryngology at the Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta.

Sobol and his colleagues reported the findings in the January issue of the Archives of Otolaryngology Head & Neck Surgery.

The building threat to children compounds a trend toward more community-based MRSA infections previously observed among prison, nursing home, and chronically ill patient populations, the researchers noted.

In the latest study, the authors reviewed data concerning pediatric infections that had been collected between 2001 and 2006 in a national database that amasses anti-microbial drug resistance test results from labs working for more than 300 hospitals across the country.

The research team found that of the more than 21,000 infections that had occurred among children during the study period, almost 22 percent were resistant to the antibiotic methicillin. Overall, MRSA head and neck infection rates had more than doubled, from about 12 percent to just over 28 percent.

About one-third of MRSA infections affected the ears, while about 28 percent impacted the nasal and sinus regions. Head and neck MRSA infections accounted for about 14 percent of the total.

Sobol stressed, however, that the apparent rising MRSA risk to children is not yet cause for alarm.

"I don't want to generate panic," he said. "And really, there's no reason for parents and children to change their lives. Reducing risk for infection is all about common sense and practicing normal hygienic measures, such as encouraging children to wash their hands and avoid contact with other ill children in crowded situations."

"But it's also important that pediatricians recognize the importance of this and suspect the possibility among children who don't respond to normal measures taken to deal with a cold or infection," he said. "And certainly, when a normal infection or cold seems worse than a parent would expect it to be, then parents should seek medical attention from their pediatrician quickly. Don't panic. Just be aware."

"Meanwhile, the underlying cause for the rise in pediatric infections is the subject of ongoing study at our institution, because we don't yet know exactly why it's occurring," Sobol acknowledged. "But we suspect is that it's due to a combination of factors."

Dr. Philip Tierno, director of clinical microbiology and immunology at New York University Medical Center, agreed.

"On the one hand, it could be that physicians might be less cautious in their use of antibiotics when it comes to children," he noted. "This is even though the American Pediatric Association has really come out strongly for physicians to be careful with administration of antibiotics to children. It also could, in part, be that we're simply monitoring case trends better than we had in the past, and so we're finding it in greater numbers among children than before."

But Tierno hypothesized that MRSA is simply on the rise outside traditional hospital settings.

"I suspect," added Tierno, "that the primary reason children might be more likely to come down with a MRSA in the community is that the community is now a reservoir for antibiotic-resistant organism, whereas before it was primarily just the hospital. And so, children just reflect that shift as a significant part of the community."

Alan Mozes

More information

For more on MRSA, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.



SOURCES: Steven E. Sobol, M.D., director, department of pediatric otolaryngology, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta; Philip Tierno, M.D., Ph.D., director, clinical microbiology and immunology, New York University Langone Medical Center, and author, The Secret Life of Germs and Protect Yourself Against Bioterrorism; January 2009, Archives of OtolaryngologyHead & Neck Surgery

Last Updated: Jan. 19, 2009

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