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Thursday 20th October 2016

Strain of MRSA kills two

18th December 2006

02082006_MRSA1.jpgTwo young mothers are believed to have died from a fresh outbreak of MRSA.

According to the Health Protection Agency (HPA), Panton-Valentine Leukocidin (PVL) MRSA has never previously caused deaths in hospitals. However, a healthcare worker died in September and a patient later succumbed to the deadly virus. Nine others also contracted the strain in the outbreak at University Hospital of North Staffordshire, Stoke-on-Trent but have not died.

PVL MRSA attacks white blood cells meaning victims cannot fight infection. It is unusual because it can affect young and otherwise healthy people whereas hospital-associated strains of MRSA normally affect more elderly or previously unwell patients.

In the Staffordshire hospital outbreak, the first person to die from PVL MRSA was a healthcare worker at the hospital who was receiving inpatient treatment. The other fatality was a patient who was being treated on the ward where the first victim had worked.

The HPA said there have been other cases of this particular strain of PVL MRSA in England and Wales but these have been in the community, not in hospitals. Thirteen cases of PVL MRSA were recorded in the community in 2005, all of which were skin and soft-tissue infections. This outbreak is the first time transmission and deaths due to this particular strain of the super-bug have occurred in a healthcare setting in England and Wales. The hospital is taking advice from the HPA on how to manage the outbreak.

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