Treatment of confirmed MRSA carriers among health-care workers

Mark Loeb

Is a confirmed carrier status of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) or other drug-resistant bacteria in a health-care worker an indication for treatment? Should the worker refrain from having contact with patients?

Mark Loeb: That is a good question, but it depends because you do not generally screen health-care workers. If there was a reason for screening them, for example, if they were linked to a little outbreak, then for sure it would be very important to screen them and eradicate the bacteria. If it is a health-care worker, if it is someone working in a hospital who has very limited exposure to patients, then it is not so important. It really depends on the case.

What is most important is when a health-care worker has been linked to a cluster of cases of MRSA [or other organisms]. Then it is very important to try to eradicate the organism.

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