MRSA and Child Flu Deaths

May 5, 2008 by
Filed under: News, Vaccine/Disease Analysis 

Image:Staphylococcus aureus, 50,000x, USDA, ARS, EMU.jpg

Recent news stories about a link between MRSA and flu deaths in children raise some interesting questions in light of our Sisyphus series (Part I, Part II and Part III).

“Being a carrier of MRSA has increased a lot, especially among school-aged kids,” said Lyn Finelli, chief of influenza surveillance at the CDC. “And being colonized may put them at risk for a severe staph aureus infection when they get the flu.”

This particular news story blames the problem on antibiotic overuse, and, of course, recommends the flu vaccine to save children from this dangerous situation.

At the CDC, investigators decided to review the medical charts of nearly all children admitted to Atlanta-area hospitals with the flu in the winter of 2006-2007. They found that 11 percent of the youngsters also suffered from staph infections, with a little more than half caused by the drug-resistant type.

Prevnar was introduced in 2000 and has probably contributed to the recent increase in staphylococcal colonization. As stated here:

Whether the current increase in severe community-acquired S. aureus infections, including methicillin-resistant S. aureus (6), is partially caused by the recent introduction of the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine is yet to be determined.

We are hoping that the CDC is aware of the connection between Prevnar and the rise in MRSA. Will they consider removing Prevnar from the schedule? Why hasn’t this issue turned up on the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) meeting agendas? So far, the only public attention the CDC has given to the increase in staph colonization is flag-waving for the flu vaccine.

While the rate of S. aureus continues to rise, and despite a strong link to vaccination as being a major causative factor, research is full-bore ahead for a new 13-valent (vs. the current 7-valent) Prevnar vaccine. In addition, this problem has the potential to spread worldwide, as there is a big push to include Prevnar on vaccination schedules in other countries.

Wyeth Sees Prevnar Vaccine Sales Reaching $3 Billion In 2009 –

NEW YORK -(Dow Jones)- Wyeth (WYE) expects sales of its Prevnar vaccine to rise to $3 billion in 2009, driven by overseas growth and new launches, 


2 Comments on MRSA and Child Flu Deaths

  1. Peter on Fri, 29th Apr 2011 3:14 pm
  2. Do you know of any progress on the issue you described in another post ending with this statement: “Confirming and determining the role these vaccines [Prevnar] played in the staph epidemic should be a top priority”

  3. admin on Fri, 29th Apr 2011 6:37 pm
  4. Unfortunately, no. The launch of Prevnar 13 is going full steam ahead, worldwide.

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