Some Preventive Tips As MRSA Infections Rise

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The news has been filled this week with the disturbing news of a sharp increase in community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) driving the rise of resistance within hospitals. This news came from a study published in the December issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

The eMaxHealth article on the report can be read here.

CA-MRSA causes serious skin and soft tissue infections in otherwise healthy persons who in the past had most often not been recently hospitalized or undergone invasive medical procedures. This is changing as the report indicates.

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CA-MRSA has been identified most frequently among specific populations, including prisoners, athletes, children, men who have sex with men, military recruits, Pacific Islanders, Alaskan Natives and Native Americans.

Here are some ways to help PREVENT getting or spreading CA-MRSA.

1. Clean your hands frequently with soap and warm water or an alcohol-based hand rub.
2. Keep your linens and clothes clean. Wash sports clothing and washable athletic gear with laundry detergent after each use (not after a week or two of use).
3. Do not share personal care items. At home this includes washcloths, towels, and razors. At the gym or school this includes sports towels, sports equipment (helmets, gym mats), uniforms/clothing. Equipment that can't be washed should be cleaned with an antibacterial solution after each use.
4. Take care of skin cuts or abrasions before they get infected. Wash them with soap and water, then cover with a dry, sterile bandage daily. Promptly throw away the old bandage. Wash your hands before and after changing the bandages.

If you are given antibiotics for an infection, it is important to take ALL of the doses. Don't quit "when you feel better" or the skin "looks better". Finish all the doses. The bacteria that don't get killed by the missed doses can morph into tomorrow's superbugs.

Related stories
Resistant Staph Infections Increasing In Hospitals
MRSA Infections Increasing in Children
Family Pet Can Transmit MRSA

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