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Staph Infections Become Major Problem at Hospitals

Life-threatening bacterial infections that occur at hospitals and other healthcare facilities are much more prevalent than previously thought.

A new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association says more than 94,000 people got a common strain of staph infection known as MRSA and nearly 19,000 of them died from it in American hospitals in 2005.

It's the first nationwide estimate of what JAMA calls "a major public health problem".

People over 65 years old are at the greatest risk. And blacks got infected at twice the rate of whites.

The Centers for Disease Control says hospitals, nursing homes and dialysis centers need to make infection prevention a higher priority.

Cepheid makes a test for MRSA and its shares have been on a tear in recent months. Becton Dickison also makes MRSA test.

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