Canadian authorities step up MRSA fight

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Canadian authorities step up MRSA fight

Link: globeandmail.com: Ottawa targets hospital superbugs.

The federal government is launching a national effort targeting the superbug methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in its bid to reduce the number of hospital-acquired infections that kill thousands of Canadians each year. An estimated 220,000 Canadians develop hospital-acquired infections each year, of which MRSA is one type, according to Canadian Nosocomial Infection Surveillance Program figures. About 8,000 people die of them annually. Until now, efforts to reduce the prevalence of superbug infections have been largely left to individual hospitals, which resulted in inconsistent policies and outcomes. The annual death toll of hospital-acquired infections dwarfs that of the 2003 SARS outbreak, which killed 44 people nationwide. By targeting MRSA, Howard Njoo of the Public Health Agency of Canada said it is making patient safety in this country's hospitals a priority.