In early 2009, doctors in the U.S. notice a doubling in the number of pediatric patients with staph infections that are resistant to antibiotics, from 12% in 2001 to 28% percent in 2006.
MRSA in Children is Resistant to Drugs
BRIAN WILLIAMS, co-host:
We are back now with NBC News In Depth tonight. It has to do with the world of health. Another one of these so-called super bug infections. This one going after children and its resistant to drugs. Our report tonight from our chief science correspondent Robert Bazell.
WAYMONLYN HOSKINS: Miyah.
ROBERT BAZELL reporting:
When Amiyah Hoskins was four months old last October her temperature suddenly shot up. She was diagnosed with a lymph node infection in her neck with a drug resistant super bug called MRSA.
Mrs. HOSKINS: I said, ‘Oh my goodness’. I knew people had died from that.
Dr. SIPOTTI ZAPATA: This is abscess cavity…
BAZELL: Dr. Sipotti Zapata at the Emery School of Medicine in Atlanta quickly performed surgery to drain the infected area, the only possible treatment.
Dr. ZAPATA: When the infections start in the head and neck region they can easily extend down into the chest.
BAZELL: The drug resistant staff infection MRSA has been a growing problem in the US. First in hospitals, then schools, prisons, and in the general community.
Now a new study reveals a big increase in pediatrics. They found that antibiotic resistant ear, nose, and throat staph infection in children jumped from 12% in 2001 to more than 28% in 2006.
Dr. STEVEN SOBLE: Possibly a right-sided abscess.
BAZELL: Dr. Zapata’s colleague, Dr. Steven Soble headed the study.
Dr. SOBLE: I think it’s a very significant public health problem. Say ahh.
BAZELL: Dr. Soble says parents and doctors need to watch for infections that did not heal properly.
Dr. SOBLE: Can I use my flashlight to look in your ears?
BAZELL: And follow the usual infection precautions including hand washing, but he says there is no need to overdo it.
Dr. SOBLE: The main point is don’t panic. This is something that’s been around for years. It will likely continue to be around for years.
BAZELL: After her treatment Amiyah Hoskins healed quickly and today is a healthy 7-month old…
Mr. HOSKINS: You want to talk to her?
BAZELL: …but a reminder of the danger of the growing threat of drug resistant infection.
Mr. HOSKINS: Hello?
BAZELL: Robert Bazell, NBC News-New York.
If the phrase “too much of a good thing” applies to anything, it surely applies to antibiotics. Their discovery was one of the most important medical advances of the last century, but overuse has eroded their effectiveness. There’s widespread agreement on the need to speed up development of new antibiotics and to discourage doctors from prescribing the drugs when they’re not needed.
Staph Infection, Bacteria, Bacterial Infection, MRSA, "Super Bug", Drug-Resistant, Antibiotic, Pediatrics, Children, Infection, Ear, Nose, Throat, Absess, Lymph Node, Surgery, Hospitals, Schools, Prisons, Prevention, Hand-Washing, Washing Hands, Public Health, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia