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Illinois Passes Law For Screening Patients For Staph

Governor Blagojevich signed legislation making it a requirement for all Illinois hospitals to screen intensive care unit patients for staph or MRSA infections. Illinois is the first state to implement such a law, however, Pennsylvania and New Jersey have similar laws that will go into effect later this year. The law requires any patient testing positive for the staph bacteria to be isolated. Medical providers tending to the patient will be required to wear masks and gloves and wash their hands to prevent passage of the infection to others. Many European nations already mandate similar measures. Many hope that the new law will help to save lives. The new law also requires MRSA infections to be tracked in the community. There have been several reported cases in gyms and housing complexes.