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DPH confirms NCCo patient contracted extremely rare VRSA infection

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Delaware Public Media
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The state Division of Public Health reported a confirmed case of Vancomycin-resistant  Staphylococcus aureus, or VRSA, in New Castle County Thursday.

DPH says the 67-year old patient had extensive underlying conditions and is currently being treated on an outpatient basis. The patient is expected recover.

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Under a very high magnification of 20,000x, this scanning electron micrograph (SEM) shows a strain of Staphylococcus aureus bacteria taken from a vancomycin intermediate resistant culture (VISA)

VRSA is extremely rare, and no human-to-human transmission has ever been documented in the U.S. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which confirmed the VRSA case, say it is only the 14th recorded case of the infection in the country.

Three other VRSA infections have been reported in Delaware: two in 2010 and one in 2012.

A patient becomes infected by VRSA when bacteria mutate and become resistant to the antibiotic Vancomycin. DPH says while antibiotics are still used to treat the infection, VRSA is particularly difficult to combat as it’s also resistant to a number of other drugs.