According to Mitchell Schwaber, MD, from the National Center for Infection Control of the Israel Ministry of Health, bacterial infection threats are not getting the attention they deserve given that the World Health Organization and public health agencies continue to focus on the spread of the H1N1 influenza virus. While methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) has made headlines in recent years, carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae infections have not. Generally, antibiotic resistant bacteria affect the elderly and unhealthy patients first, usually in hospitals, before migrating into the surrounding community. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, in the three decades it took to recognize the threat of MRSA, it had killed more than 18,000 people per year. Currently, carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae has caused more than 100 deaths near New York City, while H1N1 has caused 436 deaths across the United States during the same four month period.
From “Don’t Forget the Bacterial Threat”
Wall Street Journal (08/12/09) Schwaber, Mitchell J.; Carmeli, Yehuda