Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (mrsa)
What is it?
MRSA is a type of “Staph” infection that stands for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus. Usually Staphyloccocus (or Staph, for short) are carried on the skin and nose of healthy people and do not cause infections. Occasionally Staph can cause an infection, and in fact is one of the most common causes of skin infections in the United States. Staph can cause an infection that looks like pimples or boils. These infections are usually treated with antibiotics that are derived from penicillin or amoxicillin.
However, if a Staph infection is of the MRSA type, these antibiotics will not cure the infection and complications may arise. Fortunately, there are antibiotics that can treat MRSA successfully.
Staph and MRSA infections are typically spread in the following ways:
• Skin-to-skin contact
• Via openings in the skin surface like cuts and abrasions
• Poor hygiene
• Contact with contaminated surfaces
• Crowded living conditions
Steps to reduce the likelihood of spreading bacterial infections, particularly Staph:
• Practicing good hygiene (ie – showering immediately after exercise, hand washing with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer for greater than 30 seconds).
• Avoid sharing personal items (used clothes, towels, razors, etc) that come in contact with skin.
• Completely cover abrasions and cuts with a clean, dry bandage until completely healed.
• Maintain a clean environment by cleaning surfaces regularly that come in contact with people’s skin.
• Visit with your doctor if you have a suspicious pimple, boil, or rash.