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Leading MRSA experts address emergence of 'superbug'

ATTENTION: HEALTH REPORTERS / ASSIGNMENT DESKS

WHAT:
Over the past 50 years, common bacteria have developed resistance to penicillin-derived antibiotics. This has lead to the emergence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), or what is commonly referred to as the "superbug." The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported a 40 percent increase in MRSA infections in 1999 compared to 1994-1998, largely in the hospital setting. Until recently, MRSA was mostly in hospitals. However, community outbreaks have been reported over the past several years.

To help further understanding about MRSA and all its complexities, Pfizer is sponsoring a media teleconference to be held on Oct. 20, 2004. Topics that will be addressed in the teleconference include:

  • What MRSA is and how it has emerged
  • MRSA risk factors
  • The cost of MRSA mortality, morbidity and overall healthcare costs
  • MRSA treatment options
  • Prevention strategies

WHO: MRSA experts will be in attendance to help explain the threat of MRSA as an emerging epidemic.

  • Dr. John McGowan, Professor, Department of International Health, Emory University

  • Dr. Michael Niederman, Chairman, Department of Medicine, Winthrop University Hospital; Vice Chairman, Department of Medicine, SUNY Stony Brook

  • Dr. Richard Wunderink, Pulmonology and Critical Care Medicine, Northwestern Memorial Hospital; Pulmonary and Critical Care Department, Professor, Northwestern University

WHY:
Each year, approximately 100,000 persons are hospitalized with MRSA infections; however, MRSA is increasing in hospitals as well as in the community, making it a public health threat. Infections caused by MRSA are difficult to treat and can lead to prolonged hospitalization, increased morbidity, an increased risk of mortality, and an increase in hospital costs. Th
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Contact: Molly Todd
molly.todd@edelman.com
312-297-7572
Edelman Public Relations
11-Oct-2004


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