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Enduring Menace of MRSA: Incidence, Treatment, and Prevention in a County Jail

NCJ Number
Journal of Correctional Health Care Volume: 15 Issue: 3 Dated: July 2009 Pages: 174-178
Grant E, Deger M.D., C.C.H.P.; David W. Quick D.O. Ph.D.
Date Published
July 2009
5 pages
This article presents the results of a study of cultures obtained of all skin and soft tissue infections (SSTIs) taken between January and December of 2005 from inmates at the Whatcom County, WA Jail to examine the prevalence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) within the jail.
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) was found as the most common cause of skin and soft tissue infections (SSTIs) in the Whatcom County, WA Jail. Sixty-eight percent of the SSTIs were MRSA, consistent with national trends. Based on the success of the oral antibiotic treatment regime, the cases most likely represented community-acquired MRSA (CA-MRSA). As new infections are brought in from the community, the number of MRSA cases will vary, but predictably never disappear. Clindamycin was a favored antibiotic for the treatment of the MRSA cases found. Cultures of SSTIs should be taken at the initial evaluation, and influenza vaccinations for inmates may reduce the likelihood of catastrophic MRSA pneumonia. Early detection, treatment, and persistent attention to sanitation continue to be necessary to keep MRSA at a minimum. Nationwide, MRSA presents an increasing hazard to inmates, as well as hospitals, public institutions, and communities. This article reviews the 1-year (2005) experience of the Whatcom County Jail with SSTIs. As part of a quality assurance process, every SSTI presenting in the facility was cultured. Tables and references