The Stafylococcus bacteria is resistant to antibiotics. The bug can usually be passed on by skin contact, but many people can carry the super bug without developing the infection, making it difficult to detect.
Åke Örtqvist, from the Stockholm County Department of Commincable Disease, Control and Prevention, describes attempts to bring the bug under control as ”unrealistic”.
But the bacteria can no longer be considered a ”hospital bug”. Last year 1057 cases of MRSA were reported in Sweden. More than half of the victims had been infected in Sweden and most had caught the bug outside hospitals. Of those who contract MRSA abroad, in most cases they had been infected outside hospitals as well.
The five most common countries from where the infection was imported was the US with 32 cases, the Phillippines, Spain, Thailand and China.
The risks are higher for those with eczema or small cuts in their hands. The advice from the authorities is to maintain good hygiene by washing the hands frequently. The National Board of Health and Welfare in Sweden is also giving health personell more guidelines to keep MRSA out of hospitals completely.