Recently, the Loyola University Health System and three Chicago area VA Hospitals have joined Evanston Northwestern Healthcare in being the only Chicago area hospitals to implement universal screening procedures in effort to fight the spread of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus, otherwise known as MRSA. This infection cannot be controlled by standard antibiotics and is potentially fatal. Center for Disease Control statistics indicate that 94,000 people contract the infection per year with 19,000 of those cases resulting in death. The new procedures require a nasal swab of every newly admitted patient. If the patient tests positive for MRSA or is otherwise a carrier for the infection, the patient will be put in a private room where medical personnel will be required to adhere to stricter standards of cleanliness and cross-contamination prevention.
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