The death of a Virginia high school student to a drug-resistant staph highlights how little the Clinton or Bush Administrations have done on this long-known crisis. Doctors have been warning for decades about drug resistant infections. While some funding has been made available, it is minor in comparison to the massive projects and waste approved by Congress in those years. Now, about 32 invasive infections are found in roughly 100,000 people per year.
The researchers’ estimates are extrapolated from 2005 surveillance data from nine mostly urban regions considered representative of the country. There were 5,287 invasive infections reported that year in people living in those regions, which would translate to an estimated 94,360 cases nationally, the researchers said.
Most cases were life-threatening bloodstream infections. However, about 10 percent involved so-called flesh-eating disease, according to the study led by researchers at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
There were 988 reported deaths among infected people in the study, for a rate of 6.3 per 100,000. That would translate to 18,650 deaths annually, although the researchers don’t know if MRSA was the cause in all cases.
If these deaths all were related to staph infections, the total would exceed other better-known causes of death including AIDS — which killed an estimated 17,011 Americans in 2005 — said Dr. Elizabeth Bancroft of the Los Angeles County Health Department, the editorial author.
The lack of priority is particularly galling after the government has spent half a trillion dollars on Iraq and wasted hundreds of billions in disaster relief and corruption. For those increasingly alarmed by these health risks, it seems that unless a matter can be translated into a war on terror issue or a faith-based initiative, it garners little priority in this Administration. It is hard not to look at this growing crisis in the same vein as the failure of the Administration on other health and environmental issues such as President Bush’s dogmatic campaign to block funding of stem-cell research and his long open hostility to the notion of man-caused global warming. For the full story, click here