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DHSS Press Release

Rita Landgraf, Secretary
Carl Kanefsky, Communications Director
(302) 540-4979, Pager

Date: April 21, 2010


Final test results received today by Delaware's Division of Public Health (DPH) indicate that all 76 individuals in Delaware identified as close contacts of the rare vancomycin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (VRSA) case remain free of the infection. To date, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have received reports of only 11 other cases of VRSA infection in the nation. None of these cases occurred as a result of transmission from one infected person to another. DPH has concluded its disease investigation of the case.

DPH's disease investigation found that the Delaware case had multiple underlying health conditions. The investigation indicated that the individual most likely developed VRSA infection when two other types of bacteria, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus, combined genetically. VRSA is treatable with less commonly used antibiotics.

DPH continues to encourage health professionals to use appropriate infection control practices, such as hand washing and masks, to reduce the spread of VRSA. Judicious use of antibiotics will also help to reduce the development and spread of resistant organisms such as VRSA.

Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.