Number of MRSA infections plummets
THE number of reported cases of MRSA, the superbug most feared by patients, has plummeted to its lowest level yet.
There were 264 cases of the potentially deadly bloodstream infection reported last year, compared to the high of 592 recorded in 2006.
The number of cases has declined year-on-year since then, falling by 55pc overall. There were 304 cases in 2010.
Greater use of soap and water, as well as hand gel, have been identified as two of the key weapons in the fight against potentially lethal hospital bugs.
The drop in cases is not unique to Ireland and has also been seen in other countries, including the UK, mostly due to campaigns reminding visitors and staff to clean their hands.
MRSA is the most feared of the superbugs because it is resistant to a number of widely used antibiotics.
Major hospitals -- which treat some of the most seriously ill patients with complex conditions -- recorded the highest number of MRSA infections last year.
The hospitals were Beaumont Hospital (29), Cork University Hospital (25), St Vincent's Hospital (22), Galway University Hospitals (19), Limerick Regional Hospital (15) and Waterford Regional Hospital (15).