Almost two-thirds (62%) of GPs in the UK have not received any information on what to do if they suspect somebody has MRSA, according to a poll.
GP newspaper questioned 169 family doctors for the study, and when they were asked to rate their knowledge of MRSA, 21% said good, 2% said excellent, 59% said fair while 17% said it was poor.
The survey found 52% of GPs backed the idea of family doctors testing patients for the presence of community-acquired MRSA.
A wider range of antibiotics is available to treat community-acquired than hospital-acquired MRSA, and the poll found that 85% of GPs believe that controlling the number of antibiotic prescriptions issued will help tackle MRSA rates.
Figures published by the UK’s Health Protection Agency in November showed that hospital cases of MRSA in England fell by 10% from April to June 2007, to 1,303 cases.
Professor Mark Enright, a infectious diseases epidemiologist at Imperial College London, told GP: “Community-acquired MRSA tends to present to GPs with skin and soft-tissue infections.
“If they need drainage it’s quite easy to send samples for testing.”
He said in community-acquired MRSA GPs “would be the front line”.
“I think it might be a matter of time before community-acquired MRSA becomes as big a problem as hospital MRSA,” he said.
Copyright © PA Business 2008