Staphylococcus Aureus Tracking and Surveillance

Topic: Healthcare Research
Words: 588 Pages: 2

Staphylococcus aureus is a type of bacteria typically presiding in the skin cells. Staph infections could lead to the development of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, also known as MRSA. It is difficult to treat this type of infection, which can spread from person to person upon skin contact, which means tracking and surveying its infection rate is very important in the field of advanced medical practice.

Staphylococcus aureus bacteria are mostly harmless but, if unchecked, will lead to serious infections. According to the CDC, it is the leading cause of infections in the healthcare sphere and the community in the United States. The emerging infections – MRSA and MSSA – can be spread in various types of environments, including work, school, and home environments.. The CDC also remarks that infections often happen in crowded places, where people share working equipment and skin-to-skin contact. The bacteria seeps through the skin when there are tiny abrasions or tears in the layering, causing the infection. Especially vulnerable groups to MRSA and MSSA include people who inject drugs through needles.

For healthcare workers, this is particularly important because staph infections are also very likely to spread in hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare-related facilities. The CDC reports that “approximately 5% of patients in U.S. hospitals carry MRSA in their nose or on their skin.” People who receive inpatient medical care, injections, and other invasive procedures are at high risk of MRSA infection. Surgeries and shots done with contaminated equipment will likely infect the otherwise healthy patient in a hospital setting, which is why tracking staph in the medical scene is very important.

MRSA and MSSA are incredibly contagious and lead to serious health issues. It causes severe skin irritation, sometimes spreading to other areas of the body. For example, according to the CDC, the lungs may be affected, causing pneumonia and other types of lung infection. In some cases, patients risk developing sepsis, an extreme response of the body to infectious bacteria. These infections are difficult to handle because MRSA is immune to some antibiotics typically used to treat infections.

The Center of Disease Control and Prevention routinely reports on the spread of such infections among the American population. The latest issue reported that they tracked the infection rate of MRSA among 16,105,493 persons and the MSSA rate among 10,298,036 persons (Center of Disease Control and Prevention, 2019). The states surveyed were California, Connecticut, Georgia, Maryland, Minnesota, New York, and Tennessee. To determine the number of people infected in healthcare facilities, they classified the cases of infection by certain criteria, dividing them into hospital-onset (HO), healthcare-associated community-onset (HACO), and community-associated (CA). The results were that most infections (2361 out of 3800 cases of MSSA and 2576 out of 3437 cases of MRSA) were healthcare-associated invasive infections (Center of Disease Control and Prevention, 2019). Moreover, the most likely risk factor for infection of MSSA and MRSA is acute care hospitalization (46.9% and 62.0%, respectively). The data shows that staph infections are very likely to spread in nursing environments. The report concludes by stating that the rate of infection in healthcare has gone down since 2009 but increased in the community since 2017.

In conclusion, Staphylococcus aureus bacteria spread through skin-to-skin contact and uncleaned equipment. Staph bacteria can cause severe infections, such as Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and Methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus. The former is much harder to treat because of its immunity to antibiotics. Most staph infections occur in hospital settings because of invasive medical procedures. However, the rate of staph infection has gone down since 2009.


Center of Disease Control and Prevention. (n.d.). Invasive Staphylococcus aureus Infection Tracking.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021). Emerging Infections Program, Healthcare-Associated Infections – Community Interface Surveillance Report, Invasive Staphylococcus aureus, 2019

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