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Old 11-07-2011, 02:00 PM   #1
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Default Deaths of children with 2009 H1N1 linked to MRSA

As reported by CBS, researchers have linked the death rate of H1N1 in children in 2009 to a secondary infection with MRSA.

"A shocking new study suggests a healthy child can be eight times more likely to die from the flu if they have MRSA.
..."It's not that flu alone can't kill - it can - but in most cases children with flu alone survived.""


To me, this screams for a further study to determine whether the MRSA was acquired after admission to ICU.

Abstract of the article in the journal Pediatrics here: http://pediatrics.aappublications.or...4-d051f6a1d4c6
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Old 11-07-2011, 04:47 PM   #2
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That's interesting. I'm pretty sure this pattern was already seen in seasonal flu before the pandemic although the evidence was more anecdotal.
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Old 11-07-2011, 05:05 PM   #3
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IIRC, during the 1918 pandemic there were plenty of bacterial seconday infections. Again, IIRC, some people had them, some didn't, which confounded identification of what was really going on.
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Old 11-07-2011, 05:37 PM   #4
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The bacterial secondaries are important in any pandemic. For 1918 they had tons that we could treat easily some 20/30 years later (i only exist because a US doc treated my mum with antibiotics halfway in the 1940ies). MRSA HAS been involved with a number of seasonal cases that ended in deaths before the pandemic. The numbers here are not spectaculair (8,5%) but they hint we should keep a closer check on CA-MRSA.
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Old 11-07-2011, 08:01 PM   #5
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I'm surprised any researcher would find that in the least shocking. As Exodia & Kassy rightly point out - there were plenty of infectious diseases back then & they were responsbile for more deaths than is the case today. A youg person with an otherwise robust immune system might have had all manner of pathogens on & within their persons which caused no harm - the immune system easily dealt with them. Throw in a violent attack of Spanish Flu & all bets are off. Diphtheria, tetanus, typhoid, cholera, mumps, masles, Gernam Measles, whooping cough, scarlet fever, other staph/strep infections. Food borne pathogens & don't kid yourselve - plenty of those were around, far more so than otday. Bad water, bad milk, bad meat, poor sanitation. And that's in the "civilized" parts of the world. The more impoverished nations & regions had even more pathogenic fun to choose from.

Because of the war, people were moving in numbers & at speeds unheard of previously - further stressing immune systems by exposing them to previously unknown germs.

Our knowledge & ability to track secondaries back there wasn't nearly as good as it is today & even if it were, health authorities would have been hard pressed to try & sort all of that out, never mind track it. A young doctor is struggling with the knowledge that 7 of his patients have died already that day & many more are in dire straits. I don't think he's going to be overly concerned with trying to figure out if Mr. Margolies died of flu directly or flu & that slightly infected cut on his leg he got while splitting wood last week. He's too worried about Mrs. Margolies because if she doesn't die, 5 kids will be orphaned & the oldest only 9.

Catbird yes - I suspect a lot of those infections were contracted in hospital. It's a growing problem & the obvious solutions aren't being applied rigorously enough.
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Old 11-07-2011, 08:41 PM   #6
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MRSA is now 'out in the community' and it's so easy for healthy folk to carry it and not get sick....until something changes their immune system.

Is there a fast test for MRSA, like there is Strep? If yes, it needs to go in to the standard tests.....

If no, wonder if it can be developed soon?
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Old 11-07-2011, 08:55 PM   #7
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I agree that it isn't shocking to find that flu makes people, especially kids, prone to secondary infections. It's the prevalence of MRSA that concerns me most.

There have always been deaths from secondary infection sources and you're right Sue that in the past, it hasn't always been possible or practical to trace the specific origins. But this study suggests that the prevalence of MRSA is literally turning acute care hospitals into death traps for anyone whose immune system is already compromised.

sandyd, I wonder about testing too. I think that I'll do some research on that and see what I can dig up.
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Old 11-07-2011, 09:38 PM   #8
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You're right Catbird - your point zipped right over my head. I'll have to reread that with your premise in mind. I'm terrified... terrified that you're right.

Which also leads to the worry about where C. difficile might be going. We're seeing a worrisome increase in hospital wards fighting that one & it takes forever to clear it. Add flu to the mix & a real nightmare scenario looms.
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Old 11-07-2011, 10:14 PM   #9
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It is scary and you're right Sue, C. difficile is also worrisome.

I also wonder about community acquired pneumonia. I have a medical condition that somewhat compromises my immune system. One way I deal with it is to not go out a whole lot to lessen my exposure. But in May, my MIL was in a rehab center for a couple of weeks recovering from a broken hip and we visited her. About a week later I ended up at the ER with pneumonia. They didn't type it and fortunately, it responded fairly well to antibiotics. After discussing things with my doc, he was fairly certain the rehab facility was the source of my infection.

I will say that it scared me a bit. We were at the facility for no more than 1 hour and I had no physical contact with any other patients and only limited contact with the staff. So when I read this article it made me realize how vulnerable we are becoming to "community" infections, even in the very facilities that are supposed to be safe.

In the past, hospitals were called "pest houses" for a reason. People didn't go to them for fear of catching a disease. It's ironic, and scary, to think that it's come full circle and we're going to have to decide if going to the hospital is worth the risk.
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Old 11-08-2011, 07:09 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kassy View Post
That's interesting. I'm pretty sure this pattern was already seen in seasonal flu before the pandemic although the evidence was more anecdotal.
Secondary infection with pneumonia in seniors is a known quantity, why not other bugs like MRSA..,

Makes sense.
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Old 11-08-2011, 08:55 PM   #11
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C diff is being fought more with fecal transplants and with success!

I'd do it at home with a friend or relative if insurance doesn't wake up and pay for it. Stinky but other than that....sounds simple.
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