MRSA in Santa Clara County, CA

SCCMainJailThis story, from, is the story of Laura Debell, a Santa Clara County Jail inmate, who, during a 2 week stay in the jail in 2005, got a small wound on her leg that let to an internal MRSA infection that traveled throughout her body and set up shop in her spine. A similar story to many we have heard before. This article also goes on to examine the statistics of MRSA in Santa Clara County and the cost to the taxpayers.

Public health officials worry a lot about the little bug with the big name because it is expensive and difficult to cure: A course of treatment can cost up to $30,000 depending on the severity of the infection and the complications it can cause. And when people who contract the infection have no health insurance, like Debell, taxpayers bear the cost.

Last year in Santa Clara County, 3,079 people were diagnosed with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, nearly triple the number of cases in 2005. Local doctors are more aware of MRSA, accounting for part of that increase, local public health officials say. But better diagnosis can’t completely explain the spike in infections.

The picture, however, is much improved in the county jail, where infections rose only 5 percent in 2006 after a startling 17-fold rise the year before, thanks to better treatment and hygiene practices, public health officials say.

Aye yi yi – scary statistics, eh? On a good note, Laura Debell is thankfully recovering well from her infection, although she will have some lifelong residual effects from the infection in her spine. She has more time to serve, and they considered keeping her on a home monitoring program (for which she is eligible), but they are concerned that they won’t be able to keep track of her with all of her medial appointments. They are moving her to another jail – so keep her in your prayers.

This entry was posted in Awareness, CA-MRSA, California, MRSA, MRSA in Prisons, MRSA in the U.S.. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to MRSA in Santa Clara County, CA

  1. Pingback: MRSA Notes » Saskatchewan MRSA Rates Lower Than Many Places

  2. josie says:

    i think that doctors need to tell there patents
    about MRSA instead of keeping it from them.

  3. Jennifer says:

    I was diagnosed with MRSA(2) while in a county jail last year in Oregon. The antibiotics helped to clear it but recently, with my immune system down due to cancer I am having serious symptoms and am terrified.
    My arms are broke out with open sores, headache that will not go away, low grade fever, have to urinate at least 5-6 times nightly, night sweats, muscle aches that are causing me to limp. I had a grape-fruit sized tumor removed from my left underarm and I can barely deal with the pain. Don’t qualify for local heath programs but can’t quite make the money to see a stinkin’ regular physician. I have had days were I feel that all I can do is stay in bed and lay still to keep from hurting. What do I DO?

  4. laura debell says:

    Its been just over two years since I spent three months in the hospital over all this. I just finished my house arrest in Nov of 07. I had a spinal infection resulting from the MRSA called osteomylitis and a bunch of other stuff, I will forever been damaged. I won my medi-cal in Oct, what a rediculous wait and battle. I am finally able to see the specialist at sStanford for my back who are telling me I should have been seeing them over a year ago. It’s frustrating!! I recently figured out what the county did wrong to me and cannot find an attorney that wants to even try, I have a strong case. Good medical documentation. Doctors that even say they believe I contracted this in jail but everyone is scared on Santa Clara and worried about thee time thing. I can’t believe it! I have such good reason for delaying filing besides which I actually reallly didi not find out the mdical misocntuct till recently. If anyone has any ideas for an attorney that will please email me and mention MRSA in your info line so I’ll read it, at MRSA is long and difficult to heal from I still am living with it. Bui I am living and I was at deaths door… Thanks for all your prayers and thank you San mateo county medical center!!

  5. laura debell says:

    The numbers in the jail are total lies. They wont report they truth. Hell they will tell you to seek treatment when you get out if your bein realesed in a few days. Thats is what they told me, knowing I was on injectable bloodthinners, that the dorm had just been quarateend and cleaned for MRSA and that I scraped my leg on the stairs contibuting factor was the shoty sandles 3 sizes to big that broke while walking up the dirty stairs. My leg got so swollen and red in a day and the cut looked weird alomost immediatly. I showed to the nurse on the first pill callshe only gave me a band aid. Nothing to even clean it!!! By the 2n day it was so swollen I learned know it should have been drained that all those nasty germs werejust pooling and swimming around.. With no where to go they took off for other parts of my body… Infectious disease is who handeled my case once I got to the right place. The private hosptials did me no good. I had no idea county would take care of me. I mean I could never qualify for medical. I tried!! San Mateo County Medical Center saved my life Dr Karen Relucio used to work for Stanford shes tough but great!!

  6. laura debell says:

    are you an attorney that would take this case on.. Lynn tillem says its worth it to someone who is not worried about sc county..

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