a deadly form of MRSA had sprung from nowhere, picking off otherwise healthy people. The cases thrust Iqbal and his colleagues to the front lines of modern medicine''s struggle against antibiotic resistant bacteria – perhaps the nation's most daunting public health threat. No drug-defying bug has proved more persistent than MRSA, none has caused more frustration and none has spread more widely. In recent years, new MRSA strains have emerged to strike in community settings, reaching far beyond hospitals to infect schoolchildren, soldiers, prison inmates, even NFL players.
[. . .]
in the '90s, new "community-associated" strains began showing up in people who'd had no contact with the medical system – and the MRSA problem got far more complicated.
"We don't really understand the origin of these strains," says Costi Sifri, an infectious-disease physician at the University of Virginia Health System. "And we don't really know how to contain them."
[. . .]
hospitals are not required to report individual MRSA cases. So there was no way to tell what they were dealing with.
Dangerous MRSA bacteria expand into communities