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CA hospitals to report serious staph cases to officials

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Hospitals in California are now required to report to local health authorities certain kinds of staph infections that result in death or a stay in the intensive-care unit, reports San Francisco Chronicle.

The new reporting requirement is limited to cases that start outside hospitals or nursing homes in otherwise healthy people – leaving out about 85 percent of life-threatening encounters with the most feared bug, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA.

State health officials have been preparing for several weeks a plan to require some MRSA reporting. As of today, life-threatening, community-acquired staph infections are added to the list of diseases – such as measles, meningitis and syphilis – that hospitals are required to report to county health departments. The counties then forward the information to the state. Previously, in 2004, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed a bill that would have required hospitals to report their infection rates. In 2006, he signed a bill that requires hospitals to develop infection-control policies, but did not include a reporting requirement.

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