Medicine: Staph of Death (Cont'd.)

No sooner had the A.M.A. issued the ominous warning than its timeliness was grimly proved. Warning: there is growing danger of in-hospital epidemics caused by Staphylococcus aureus, a common germ some of whose strains are resistant to most antibiotics (TIME, March 24). Proof: the belatedly disclosed deaths since Dec. 1 of 16 babies in Houston's Jefferson Davis Hospital (run by the city and Harris County). So far this year, 81 babies were infected; in February alone, 21 mothers also caught the infection.

Root of the trouble in Houston was painfully clear. The wealthy city has had $12 million moldering for almost ten...

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