The heavy cost of superbugs
THE rate of incidence of the superbug MRSA in Ireland is falling, but not as quickly as it should. Under a five-year plan announced in 2007, the HSE aims to reduce MRSA to 20pc of the total number of infections. It is down from 38.5pc in that year to 27.1pc, but rates have been falling all over Europe. Only Portugal, Greece and Italy have rates higher than our annual 400 cases.
Nor do the apparently encouraging MRSA statistics tell the whole story about the ongoing scandal of patients' total exposure to infection.
The number of incidences of MRSA may have decreased slightly, but the equally insidious MSSA is on the increase and there were 3,538 notifications of C. Difficile in the 18 months up to the beginning of this year.