Hawaii Highest in MRSA

HONOLULU (AP) July 10, 2007

Hawaiian hospitals, rehabilitation centers and long-term care facilities are reporting the nation's highest infection rate for a dangerous, drug-resistant staph germ.

In Hawaii, 91 patients out of one thousand had contracted the superbug compared with 46 per one thousand patients overall.

Maine, New York and South Carolina also reported high rates of infection.

The germ, called Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, can't be tamed by certain common antibiotics.

It is potentially fatal and can be spread by touch.

It is associated with sometimes-horrific skin infections, but it also causes blood infections, pneumonia and other illnesses.

The germ typically thrives in health care settings where people have open wounds.

(Copyright 2007 Associated Press. All rights reserved)