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Mil Med. 2003 Feb;168(2):135-8.

Sentinel cases of community-acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus onboard a naval ship.

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  • 1Navy Environmental and Preventive Medicine Unit 2, 1887 Powhatan Street, Norfolk, VA 23511-3394, USA.


Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is emerging as a community-acquired organism. A number of recent reports have documented its involvement in a variety of infections in which no risk factors for nosocomial transmission are present. This report presents the initial cases of a MRSA outbreak on a U.S. Navy ship. Each patient failed traditional antibiotic therapy and one required hospitalization. Their presentations evolved simultaneously and proved to be sentinel cases of an outbreak of cutaneous MRSA infections. The events of this outbreak emphasize the growing need to consider the prevalence of resistant organisms in outpatient settings, as well as the impact that infections from resistant organisms might have on the combat readiness of a military unit. Recommendations addressing infection-control guidelines for MRSA within close-quarter environments of healthy adults, such as military units, need to be developed and existing infection-control measures need to be regularly emphasized.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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