MRSA Infections May Vary by Season03/29/11
TUESDAY, March 29 (HealthDay News) -- Dangerous
methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, infections
occur more often in the summer and fall, and this seasonal increase
is more common in children than adults, a new study reports.
The findings came from an analysis of MRSA cases that occurred
at Rhode Island Hospital, in Providence, over 10 years.
The researchers found that children's infections were higher in
the third and fourth quarters of the year than in the first two
quarters. In the later months, children had 1.85 times more MRSA
infections that had been contracted outside of a health-care
setting, called community-associated MRSA infections, and 2.94
times more hospital-associated infections.
By contrast, adults had 1.14 times more community-associated
MRSA infections in the last two quarters of the year than in the
first two quarters, and there was no seasonal variation in
hospital-associated infections, according to the study, published
online March 23 in
The researchers also reviewed published articles from the past
70 years, finding an increase in MRSA infections during summer and
autumn in many temperate regions of the world and during the
warmest months of the year in tropical regions.
Skin moisture plays an important role in the growth of microbes,
and the presence of both heat and humidity may offer ideal
conditions for the proliferation of
S. aureus, the researchers said.
"It is hoped that this study will promote further investigation into the seasonality of S. aureus infections to better understand the biologic basis
for this observation," lead author Leonard Mermel, medical director
of the department of epidemiology and infection control at Rhode
Island Hospital, said in a hospital news release.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more
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