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Sunday, April 15, 2007

Among previously healthy children and adults: MRSA

A story by the Centers for Disease Control:

Louisiana case 1. A previously healthy boy aged 10 years became ill with fever, cough, sore throat, and earache in both ears on December 6, 2006, and was treated with acetaminophen at home. The next day, his symptoms worsened and he was taken to a local Emergency Department in respiratory distress with a fever of 104°F (40°C). A chest X-ray was performed and revealed pneumonia in more than one lobe of his lungs. The patient was transferred to another hospital and admitted to the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU), where he required endotracheal intubation and mechanical ventilation. He was treated initially on December 7 with intravenous (IV) ceftriaxone; vancomycin was started the next day. On December 8, a rapid immunochromatographic assay for the qualitative detection of influenza A or B was performed on nasopharyngeal secretions and was positive for influenza A. A sputum culture obtained the same day grew MRSA; blood cultures were negative. The patient had leukopenia [a decreased number of white blood cells] and worsening hypotension (abnormally low blood pressure) and hypoxia [a shortage of oxygen in the body]. He died on December 9, approximately 42 hours after admission to the PICU. The cause of death was reported as bilateral pneumonia [in both lungs]. The patient had no documented history of MRSA; no documentation of influenza vaccination was present in either his medical record or the statewide immunization database, Louisiana Immunization Network for Kids Statewide (LINKS).

The CDC reported nine other similar cases in Lousiana and Georgia in December 2006 and January 2007. In six of them, the patient died. None had received a flu vaccine.

Advice: Write yourself a note on your calendar for the first Monday in November: Get yourselves vaccinated against the flu.

Read another flu story, or read CDC’s source story.

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