THE threat to hospital patients from the superbug MRSA is continuing to fall with reported infections at their lowest level in six years.
There were 173 bloodstream cases reported to the end of September last year, indicating an ongoing trend which has seen numbers drop from 592 in 2006 to 263 in 2011.
Large hospitals including the Mater, Beaumont, Cork University Hospital and Limerick Regional reported the highest numbers of cases.
The reported cases are only a portion of the real extent of the infection but they give an indication of whether the problem is getting worse or improving.
Although the rate of MRSA in Ireland is falling, it is still relatively high and compares with the UK and southern European countries.