Two recent reports reveal that the rate of MRSA positivity among emergency room workers is more common than previously thought.
The findings, published in the Annals of Emergency Medicine, indicate that the proportion of ER workers testing positive as MRSA carriers is higher than that of the general population, Reuters Health reports.
In one study, researchers at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Illinois collected nasal swabs from ER personnel and found that 15 percent tested positive.
The other research study, at the University of Pittsburgh Department of Emergency Medicine, discovered that 31.8 percent of nasal cultures were positive for the bug Staphylococcus aureus, while MRSA was present in 4.3 percent of those tested.
Nurses, nursing assistants, and radiology and respiratory technicians were most likely to test positive.
"The varying prevalence among the different healthcare workers was unexpected," lead researcher Dr. Brian P. Suffoletto told the news provider.
Figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that as many as 2 million people contract an infection in a hospital each year, with around 90,000 dying as a result.