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Forum Finds No New York City Staph Outbreak

April 1, 2003

There are no signs of an outbreak of antibiotic resistant bacterial infections among gay and bisexual men in New York City, according to Dr. Julia A. Schillinger, a medical epidemiologist with the city's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

At two recent medical meetings -- Intercity Grand Rounds, a meeting of city physicians; and the Provider Research Network, a group of some 50 physicians who treat HIV/AIDS -- Schillinger presented the three known cases of New York City gay men infected with methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

"We have not yet had a [new] case reported and that was a month ago," Schillinger said at a March 25 town meeting on the topic at the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center. She said she has spoken with all the doctors at the city's 10 STD clinics, and they reported no new cases.

Among the three New York City men, all of whom were treated successfully, two were sex partners, one of whom had recently worked in a hospital. He may have acquired the infection at work and then infected his partner. The former health worker "had several possible risk factors for MRSA," Schillinger said. The third man had traveled recently and may have been infected outside the city.

Since reporting the cases of the two sex partners to the city health department, the Callen-Lorde Community Health Center clinic has not seen any new MRSA infections, said Medical Director Dr. Dawn Harbatkin.

Los Angeles and San Francisco have seen MRSA outbreaks among dozens of gay men. "The ones in Los Angeles look like there is a spillover from a hospital," said Dr. Barry Kreiswirth, director of the TB Center at the Public Health Research Institute. "They are highly susceptible to most antibiotics," Kreiswirth said of the strain in recent community outbreaks. "The ones in the community are very treatable."

Back to other CDC news for April 1, 2003

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Excerpted from:
Gay City News (New York City)
03.21.03; Duncan Osborne




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