Superbug incidences down but measles cases soar
CASES of two of the most feared hospital superbugs fell last year, but measles cases soared.
There were 305 reported cases of patients getting a bloodstream MRSA infection, down 14pc on the previous year, and the lowest in a decade.
And the severe bug C Difficile also became less of a threat, but there were still 1,696 cases reported, a drop of 11pc. The bug, also known as C Diff, can be life-threatening for older, vulnerable patients.
The figures were released in the annual report of the Health Protection Surveillance Centre of Ireland.
More policing of handwashing by staff and "hard work in the battle against infectious disease" were paying off, said Dr Darina O'Flanagan, director of the watchdog.
However, measles cases increased by 149pc in 2010, with 403 cases, compared with 162 in 2009.
The report said 108 of these measles cases required hospital treatment.
"Cases predominantly occurred in the Traveller and Roma communities and among those who choose not to have their children vaccinated against vaccine-preventable diseases. Other European countries also saw measles outbreaks during 2010."
Dr O'Flanagan said: "A catch-up MMR vaccination campaign is needed to control and eliminate the continued transmission of measles, mumps and rubella in Ireland as we saw a worrying number of measles outbreaks in Ireland and Europe during 2010."
The report also revealed:
• Mumps, which can cause deafness or inflammation of the brain, fell by 53pc with 293 notifications reported, compared with 620 cases in 2009.
• Sexually transmitted infections fell by 4.1pc. The most recent statistics revealed 10,834 cases notified in 2009, compared with 11,294 in 2008.
• Cases of campylobacter, the stomach bug, fell by 1pc in 2010 with 1,661 notifications, compared with 1,807 in 2009.
• Reported cases of cryptosporidiosis, a parasitic disease which can be found in drinking water and causes diarrhoea, fell by 34pc. There were 294 cases notified, compared with 445 in 2009.
• There was a fall in Verotoxigenic E coli cases with a recorded drop of 17pc to 199 cases.
• Cases of TB went down but 427 patients developed the disease.
• HIV cases fell by 21pc in 2010 with 331 notified, compared with 395 cases in 2009.