MRSA:Q&A

 

The media has been reporting an increasing number of outbreaks of skin

infections in schools caused by Staphylococcus aureus ("staph") bacteria

that are resistant to many antibiotics. These resistant strains of staph

are known as "MRSA" (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus).

 

What is a staph skin infection?
Staph bacteria are often found in the noses and on the skin of people.
Most of the time staph carried in the nose or on the skin does not cause
infection and when it does, it usually causes minor infections,
such as boils or abscesses. However, sometimes staph can cause more
serious infections .Staph infections often begin when staph bacteria
enter the body through an injury to the skin. Symptoms of a staph skin
infection include redness, warmth, swelling, tenderness of the skin,
and boils or blisters.
 

How do staph skin infections spread?

Staph can rub off the skin of an infected person and onto the

skin of another person when they have skin-to-skin contact. Staph from

an infected person can also get onto a commonly shared item or surface,

and then get onto the skin of the person who touches it next. Examples

of commonly shared items are towels, benches in locker rooms, and

athletic equipment .
 

What can be done to prevent infection among students?
Students should clean their hands and skin often. Athletes should

not share personal items (e.g., razors, towels, etc.) with other persons

and should keep towels and clothes clean.

 

What should I do if I think someone has a skin infection?
If you suspect that someone might have a staph skin infection, have them consult their

healthcare provider as soon as possible. Early treatment can help

prevent the infection from getting worse. The person should be sure to

follow all the directions the healthcare provider gives, including

taking all of the doses of any prescribed antibiotic.

 

 

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