Tag Archives: superbug

The importance of addressing hospital-acquired superbug infections

Joseph Burns

About Joseph Burns

Joseph Burns (@jburns18), a Massachusetts-based independent journalist, is AHCJ’s topic leader on health insurance. He welcomes questions and suggestions on insurance resources and tip sheets at joseph@healthjournalism.org.

Photo: Phalinn Ooi via Flickr

Photo: Phalinn Ooi via Flickr

For three years, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) have penalized hospitals when the institutions show unacceptably high rates of potentially avoidable complications, such as blood clots, bed sores, and infections, Jordan Rau reported last month for Kaiser Health News.

The federal agency this year added penalties for two hospital-acquired infections that result from germs resistant to antibiotics: methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (known as MRSA) and Clostridium difficile (C. diff). Continue reading

Localize the story of the latest superbug’s U.S. arrival – for a long time to come

Tara Haelle

About Tara Haelle

Tara Haelle (@TaraHaelle) is AHCJ's medical studies core topic leader, guiding journalists through the jargon-filled shorthand of science and research and enabling them to translate the evidence into accurate information.

Image via CDC

Image via CDC

The latest news about the arrival in the U.S. of a deeply concerning “superbug” justifiably injected alarm into the headlines recently.

It was not actually a new bacteria that arrived but the “dreaded gene mcr-1,” a mutation which “confers protection against colistin, the last remaining antibiotic that works against a broad family of bacteria that have already acquired resistance to all the other antibiotics used against them,” as AHCJ board member Maryn McKenna described in her piece at her Germination blog at National Geographic. Continue reading