Congressman Elijah E. Cummings
(MD-07), a senior member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
, announced the introduction of the Community and Healthcare-Associated Infections Reduction
(CHAIR) Act of 2007, H.R. 4214, legislation to improve the prevention, detection and treatment of deadly infectious disease
H.R. 4214 specifically addresses the growing concern surrounding the drug-resistant staph infection known as MRSA, or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
(CDC), nearly 19,000 patients with invasive MRSA died in 2005—more than the number who died from HIV/AIDS, Parkinson's, emphysema or homicide. Eighty-five percent of those MRSA cases originated from hospitals.
H.R. 4214 not only addresses the threat of MRSA in hospitals, but also its prevalence in the community, which has become a growing concern. A recent study published by the Journal of American Medical Association found
that Baltimore City in particular has unusually high rates of community-acquired infections.