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W.Va. aims to cut infections linked to health care

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- West Virginia is redoubling efforts to reduce the number of infections associated with health care.Public Health Commissioner Marian Swinker said there were 111 such outbreaks last year, affecting more than 2,900 people.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says such infections are on the rise nationwide and threaten patient safety. But Swinker said they're preventable.
The Bureau for Public Health has a coordinator working with facilities on education, training and prevention.Infections can be associated with such medical devices as catheters, ventilators and central lines. Overprescribed antibiotics contribute to problems by fostering growth of antibiotic-resistant organisms.Swinker said patients should talk to their providers about their concerns.They can ask providers to wash their hands, and inquire whether needles, syringes and other equipment are new.
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