Hospital Infection Rate plummets - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

Hospital Infection Rate plummets

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It was the best kind of news for a town proudly home to the world's biggest medical center - a place where many folks have come to fear hospital born infection nearly as much as the sicknesses demanding expert care.

The Center for Disease Control announced the rate of infection in medical facilities has fallen 50 percent - cut in half by a nationwide focus on extreme sterility and cleanliness.

It's definitely good news," said Dr. Barbara Murray, chief of infectious disease research at UTHealth Medical School.

Murray says the battle against so-called "superbugs" is being waged at a very basic level.

"Increased emphasis on preventing the spread of bacteria, hand washing, alcohol washing, room de-contamination," said Murray.

The CDC identified substantial reductions in the often deadly staph germ known as MRSA.

At Texas Children's Hospital Dr. Jefferey Starke has been waging an all-out battle to minimize spread of these infections.

"What we've done in the hospital to try to limit this from occurring is all kinds of things - putting people in isolation when we know they are either colonized or infected and more importantly, really putting extreme controls over the use of antibiotics. The cause of all antibiotic resistance is anti-biotics," said Starke.

While the latest numbers are encouraging, Starke and Murray advise re-doubling the ongoing effort to control drug resistant bacteria. Failure to act, they say, presents potentially catastrophic consequences.

"The total number of infections are decreasing, but the few that are caused by these very resistant organisms are frightening. I would not want to be a patient in these days," said Murray.

New and more powerful anti-biotics could preserve lives, but Starke and Murray say not enough are in the research pipeline, because they arn't very profitable to develop and produce

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