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Rare VRSA infection confirmed in Caldwell County marks only 16th case in America

This marks the 16th case in the nation of this type of infection, which is most often spread by direct person-to-person contact.
The State of North Carolina notified Caldwell County about a confirmed case of...
The State of North Carolina notified Caldwell County about a confirmed case of Vancomycin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (VRSA), a type of antimicrobial-resistant bacteria.(CDC)
Published: Dec. 13, 2021 at 5:57 PM EST
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CALDWELL COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - A rare kind of staph infection has been identified in Caldwell County as only the 16th case ever found in the United States.

The State of North Carolina notified Caldwell County about a confirmed case of Vancomycin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (VRSA), a type of antimicrobial-resistant bacteria.

This marks the 16th case in the nation of this type of infection, which is most often spread by direct person-to-person contact.

Caldwell County officials say this infection is isolated, and the individual diagnosed with the infection is being treated, per guidelines established by the State of North Carolina and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Individuals who came in close contact with the patient have been notified and are being tested.

“We are working closely with UNC Caldwell, skilled nursing facilities, the State of North Carolina, and the CDC to ensure the health and safety of our community,” said Anna Martin, Caldwell County Public Health Director.”

CDC has issued specific infection control recommendations intended to reduce the transmission of VRSA (Investigation and Control of Vancomycin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (VRSA): 2015 Update pdf icon[PDF – 20 Pages]).

Infection control precautions should remain in place until a defined endpoint has been determined in consultation with public health authorities.

VRSA infection continues to be a rare occurrence. A few existing factors seem to predispose case patients to VRSA infection, including:

  • Prior MRSA and enterococcal infections or colonization
  • Underlying conditions (such as chronic skin ulcers and diabetes)
  • Previous treatment with vancomycin

Appropriate antimicrobial prescribing by healthcare providers, adherence to recommended infection control guidelines, and, ultimately, the control of both MRSA and VRE are necessary to prevent further emergence of VRSA strains.

Historical U.S. VRSA case count and geographical information:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recently confirmed the 15th case of...
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recently confirmed the 15th case of vancomycin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (VRSA) infection since 2002 in the United States.(CDC)

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