ANCHOR LEAD: THE COMBINATION OF FLU INFECTION WITH BACTERIAL INFECTIONS CAN BE DEADLY, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
Several teenagers in Georgia died recently from a combination of influenza infection followed by severe pneumonia caused by methicillin resistant staph aureus, one of the so-called ‘superbugs.’ Aaron Milstone, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at Johns Hopkins, says the problem has been known for some time.
MILSTONE: There have been associations of staph aureus with post-influenza virus infections since the fifties and sixties especially in times of pandemic influenza, people having a viral illness with flu and then having a secondary staph pneumonia. Now we’re seeing this new strain of what people are calling community associated methicillin staph aureus or community associated MRSA and with this has come this new found increase in severe pneumonia caused by this community acquired strain in people with viral illnesses in the winter and especially influenza. :31
Anyone who has had the flu and then seems to be relapsing should seek immediate medical attention. I’m Elizabeth Tracey reporting.