Norway has lowest MRSA rate in Europe
MRSA Bacteria Information
The occurrence of infections caused by methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) has increased substantially the past 10-15 years. Infections are especially common in hospitals where they cause increased morbidity, mortality and economic costs. In most European countries, in the USA and Japan MRSA infections constitute 30 %–60 % of all S aureus infections. In the Nordic countries the occurrence is still low, usually <1 %. It is a common goal in these countries to keep the occurrence low.
In Norway all health care institutions have to include measures against the spread of MRSA in their infection control programmes. The measures should be in accordance with the national guidelines. The management of the institution is responsible for developing, implementing and maintaining the infection control programme as a part of the internal control system.
What is MRSA?
The organism Staphylococcus aureus is found on many individuals skin and seems to cause no major problems. However if it gets inside the body, for instance under the skin or into the lungs, it can cause important infections such as boils or pneumonia. Individuals who carry this organism are usually totally healthy, have no problems whatever and are considered simply to be carriers of the organism.
The term MRSA or methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus is used to describe those examples of this organism that are resistant to commonly used antibiotics. Methicillin was an antibiotic used many years ago to treat patients with Staphylococcus aureus infections. It is now no longer used except as a means of identifying this particular type of antibiotic resistance.
Individuals can become carriers of MRSA in the same way that they can become a carrier of ordinary Staphylococcus aureus which is by physical contact with the organism. If the organism is on the skin then it can be passed around by physical contact. If the organism is in the nose or is associated with the lungs rathe