State Lacks Data on Hospital Infections

Laramie, WY – Incidents of this drug-resistant staph infection called MRSA are on the rise in Wyoming. In 2003, the state reported 13 cases compared to 85 so far this year. Those cases were considered community-acquired, which is the only type the state now keeps tabs on. But the disease is perhaps best known for its presence in hospitals or nursing homes. For example, you go into the hospital for a knee operation and come out with a potentially deadly infection. Department of health epidemiologist Janae Stovall says Wyoming no longer keeps a record of these hospital-acquired infections in part because of a heavy caseload. She says deaths do occur as a result of the infection in the hospital, but the department has no data on how many die or how often. She says her department has investigated 244 MRSA calls this year, but only officially recorded 85 because the remaining 160 cases most likely originated in a hospital setting