Health written question – answered on 5th April 2005.

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Photo of Tim Boswell Tim Boswell Shadow Minister, Work & Pensions and Welfare Reform, Shadow Spokesperson (Business, Innovation and Skills), Shadow Spokesperson (Work and Pensions)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what information he has collated on the incidence of community-acquired MRSA; and what action he is taking to prevent its spread.

Photo of Miss Melanie Johnson Miss Melanie Johnson Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department of Health

Community-acquired methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) usually refers to cases of MRSA isolated from previously healthy people without any obvious risk factors such as admission to hospital. The Health Protection Agency's (HPA) staphylococcal reference laboratory has confirmed 100 cases over the last three years—an extremely small proportion of the isolates they receive (less than 0.005 per cent.). The Specialist Advisory Committee on Antimicrobial Resistance (SACAR) and the HPA are monitoring reports of CA-MRSA and recommend continued vigilance, but that there is no immediate cause for concern. They will be carrying out a small survey to establish the prevalence of these infections.

CA-MRSA is controlled by good hygiene and infection control and guidance for the national health service is available in Infection Control: Prevention of healthcare associated infection in primary and community care" published by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence in 2003.

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