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Study Claims Seniors in Illinois and Nationwide Are More Likely to Contract Dangerous MRSA in Winter Months

A nationwide study recently published in the American Journal of Epidemiology claims skilled nursing facility patients are more likely to contract a dangerous methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection during the winter months. In contrast, children are reportedly more likely to become infected with the potentially deadly bacteria in the summer. According to researchers from Johns Hopkins University, individuals over age 65 are at an increased risk for becoming infected with MRSA following a health care procedure or in a nursing home while children normally are infected in the community through a cut or other wound.

As part of the study, researchers purportedly analyzed data collected regarding MRSA infections contracted between 2005 and 2009. They allegedly found that MRSA infections in particular age groups are tied to the seasons. Lead Study Author, Eili Klein, Ph.D., stated although it is unclear why seasonal and age preferences exist for health care-associated and community-associated MRSA, overuse of antibiotics in the winter months may be partially to blame. According to Klein, the strain of MRSA that generally affects the elderly is resistant to more types of antibiotics than the community-associated strain. Klein said the inappropriate use of antibiotics likely plays a role in MRSA resistance to the drugs. Klein reportedly believes additional research regarding the seasonal patterns associated with MRSA could help healthcare professionals develop more effective treatment guidelines and infection control strategies.

Since skilled nursing facility patients normally live in close proximity to one another, bacteria like MRSA can be spread easily. Effective sanitation and infection control measures are required to maintain the health of nursing home residents. Despite that nursing home employees in Illinois are required by law to ensure simple precautionary measures intended to control the spread of illness or disease are used, too many long-term care facility workers allegedly fail to do so. Unfortunately, this can have a tragic and deadly impact on institution residents. If your loved one died after he or she contracted a preventable disease at an Illinois nursing home, you are advised to speak with a capable nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer.

If your elderly or disabled family member was the victim of neglect or abuse while living in a skilled nursing facility located in Illinois, you should give the experienced attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C. a call at (312) 924-7575. Our hardworking Chicago nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers are available 24 hours per day, every day of the week to help you protect the rights of your senior friends and relatives. For a free consultation with a caring advocate, contact Abels & Annes, P.C. through the law firm’s website.

More Blogs:

Researchers Claim Increased Use of Technology May Improve Nursing Home Resident Care and Increase Patient Privacy in Illinois and Nationwide, Illinois Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Blog, March 19, 2013
Resident Mistreatment is Not Always Easy to Identify at Nursing Homes in Illinois and Elsewhere, Illinois Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Blog, March 12, 2013
Additional Resources:

Nursing home residents at greatest risk of MRSA in February and March, study finds, by Tim Mullaney,

Strains of antibiotic-resistant ‘Staph’ bacteria show seasonal preference; children at higher risk in summer, by Mark Guidera,


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