Second Danish death attributed to MRSA

A second person has died in Denmark from swine MRSA, the latest report from the Danish State Serum Institute (SSI) has revealed.

Second Danish death attributed to MRSA
Neither of the individuals who have died from MRSA this year were in direct contact with pigs. Photo: Claus Fisker/Scanpix
According to SSI's third quarter report, a patient was hospitalised with a hardening of the arteries and underwent several procedures before dying within 30 days of being infected with MRSA CC398, a variant that can be transmitted from livestock to humans. 
“There were three new incidences [of MRSA] in the third quarter, one of which ended in death. Throughout all of 2014 there have been six cases of toxaemia in total, two of which ended in death with 30 days,” SSI spokesman Robert Skov told DR. 
Two leading experts said in August that between 6,000 and 12,000 people are currently infected with MRSA CC398 in Denmark. It has also been found that at least 13 babies whose parents work in the swine industry have been infected with MRSA.
The virus strain has seen a massive increase in Denmark over the past seven years. According to SSI, the CC398 variant only accounted for two percent of all MRSA cases in 2007 but this year is up to 35 percent.
SSI said that both of the people who have died from MRSA CC398 were infected by other humans. 
Skov said that SSI continues to believe that the risk of being infected through pork is minimal. Recent investigations have shown that up to every fifth pack of pork being sold in Denmark contains MRSA. Similarly, one in every five packages of Danish pork being sold in Sweden was also found to carry the virus. 
In light of the growing number of Danes infected with MRSA and its prevalence in pork products, the National Audit Office of Denmark (Rigsrevision) is planning to take a closer look at how the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries has handled the situation.
Rigsrevision will carry out a preliminary examination of the ministry’s efforts to reduce the spread of the bacteria. If the first examination warrants it, a further and more in-depth investigation will follow.

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‘At least four’ babies contract MRSA at Danish hospital

Several cases of infections related to the MRSA bacterium were reported at a neonatal ward at Aalborg University Hospital on Tuesday.

'At least four' babies contract MRSA at Danish hospital
Photo: Henning Bagger/Scanpix Denmark

At least four newborn babies are reported to have been infected by the bacterium at the hospital's neonatal ward for prematurely born infants, head of department Consultant Pia S√łnderby Christensen told Ritzau.

20 patients at the hospital are currently undergoing tests to detect the presence of the bug, with a similar number of recently discharged patients also recalled.

The hospital is now testing newborn babies and parents that have been at the hospital since late February, along with staff, in an effort to track down the source of the bacteria.

“MRSA infections can be treated with antibiotics, so parents needn't be worried.

“It does not commonly give rise to illness, and the bacteria can be treated if symptoms exist,” Christensen said.

The consultant said she expected further infections to be uncovered.

“We currently do not have an overview of how many children are affected. But we are currently investigating this,” she said.

“We are isolating the infected children with their families. So we are separating the department between those with the bacteria and those who do not have it,” the doctor added.

Christensen also said that of the four children in which infection had been found, one had been treated for a skin infection and was now cured.

The remaining three children did not show any symptoms.

“But we expect to find more infected children, since that's often how it is with outbreaks like this. It passes easily between newborn babies,” she said.

READ ALSO: MRSA cases in Denmark doubled in one year