MRSA Information

Recently there have been a number of stories in the news regarding Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus or MRSA. Staphylococcus Aureus, most commonly referred to as “Staph”, is a bacteria commonly carried on the skin or in the nose of healthy people.  According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), 25-30% of the population is colonized (have the bacteria but not the infection). Only about 1% of these individuals are colonized with MRSA. Although this particular strain is resistant to treatment with the “cillin” based antibiotics, there are many other antibiotics which can treat the infection.

There are several easy steps your family can take to prevent MRSA skin infections:

  • Practice good hygiene - lots of hand washing with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizers.
  • Keep cuts and scrapes clean and covered with a bandage until healed. Any break in the skin is a route for infection to enter the body.
  • Avoid sharing personal items such as washcloths, towels, razors, uniforms, etc.
  • Wash athletic uniforms in hot water after each use.  Individuals in contact sports including football and wrestling have a greater risk for contracting MRSA. Clothing worn at PE should also be washed frequently.

According to the CDC, the environment has not played a significant role in the transmission of MRSA. It is most frequently transmitted by direct skin to skin contact. It is important to note that MRSA transmission can be prevented by simple measures such as hand hygiene and covering infections. Unless directed by a physician, students with MRSA infections should not be excluded from attending school.

Helpful links:

http://www.cdc.gov/mrsa/

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