Staph Infection Rate Stuns Experts
Eye-opening numbers on antibiotic-resistant 'superbugs' dwarf previous estimates
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 25, 2007 4:39 PM CDT
TO GO WITH NKOREA-MEDICINE-FRANCE-NGO BY PHILIPPE AGRET Two...   (Getty Images)
camera-icon View 3 more images

(Newser) – Over a million hospital patients contract a dangerous, drug-resistant staph infection every year, a rate 10 times more than previously thought. Tens of thousands infected with antibiotic-resistant "superbugs" may die from what officials call one of the nation's most serious public-health threats, today's Chicago Tribune reports.

Medical professionals at 1,200 hospitals and 100 nursing homes responded to a survey that helped researchers create a "snapshot" of the infection rate in fall 2005, an unorthodox but revealing methodology. What it shows is shocking: The bacteria, which can be spread every time a patient rubs his nose, are rampant in US health-care facilities.