Clumps of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteria (MRSA) under an electron microscope.Image: Smith Collection/Gado/ (Getty Images)S. aureus has been a poster child of drug resistance, especially methicillin-resistant S. aureus, or MRSA. MRSA germs are resistant to a variety of prescription antibiotics, including those related to penicillin, and they was among the first superbugs to receive widespread spotlight in the 1990s. While the hazard of drug resistance has actually grown gradually, rates of MRSA and other hospital-related superbugs did appear to be on the subside throughout U.S. medical facilities recently, the result of formalized infection control programs in these settings. But as with many things, the pandemic has actually made the issue worse.Last fall, a research study from the CDC found that the rate of healthcare-associated infections, which are typically drug-resistant, increased in 2020. This increase largely came from the pressure put on health centers throughout the pandemic, with MRSA being no exception. The rate of MRSA in medical facilities rose by 34% throughout the 4th quarter of 2020 relative to 2019, for example, after having declined in the first quarter.Its possible that once the pandemic is over, MRSA will go back on the decrease. But with the U.S. as soon as again facing a surge of covid-related hospitalizations and deaths, its likely not happening yet.
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