October 30, 2008
Seven babies and four employees at a suburban New York hospital have been diagnosed with MRSA.
Officials at St. John’s Riverside Hospital in Yonkers, N.Y., became aware of the problem after the newborns developed skin rashes consistent with the drug-resistant staph infection, wcbs880.com reported.
"We are assuming that all seven cases are connected," Jim Foy, St. John's Riverside Hospital President and CEO, told the news radio station. "The strain seems to be community acquired. It is a localized skin infection but again, any infection that comes from a hospital is something you're concerned with. You're supposed to get better when you come to a hospital, not have anything come and make it worse."
The first case was identified on Sept. 24 and the most recent case was found Sunday, according to Foy.
Since the outbreak, the maternity ward and nursery areas have been thoroughly scrubbed down and nurses and doctors have been asked to watch out for cases.
MRSA is an infection caused by a strain of Staphylococcus aureus bacteria that is highly resistant to antibiotics, the National Institutes of Health said on its Web site.
It’s a common bacteria that normally lives on the skin and sometimes in the nose. Infections occur with the bacteria enters the body through a cut or sore. Serious staph infections are most common in people with weak immune systems, usually patients in hospitals and long-term care facilities, according to the NIH.