If youve only heard it mentioned on TV or the radio, you might wonder what mersa staff is. It is actually MRSA, which is a Staph (bacterial) skin infection. MRSA stands for Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus.
Normally Staph bacteria can be found on our skin and is harmless; unless they enter the skin through a n opening like a cut, scrape, burn, surgical opening or wound. Bacteria that enter our skin can cause serious infections that can make us ill, some, like MRSA, can even be fatal.
What Does It Look Like
MRSA may first look like a spider bite, boil or abscess. It may even resemble a turf burn. Left untreated the MRSA infection rapidly progresses.
The MRSA infection is spread by skin-to-skin contact with someone who has MRSA. You cannot spread the MRSA infection through the air. You can have contaminated surfaces or personal hygiene items that can spread the infection.
You can protect those you love from MRSA by practicing and teaching good hygiene. It is important to wash your hands properly and often including after exercising or after participating in any kind of sport.
Surfaces like those in locker rooms and weight rooms need to be cleaned after every use. Sports uniforms should be washed in hot water after each use. Sports equipment and weight benches need to be wiped down before and after each use.
Do not share personal items like bars of soap, razors, deodorant, towels and clothing.
General guidelines to follow to help prevent the spread of the MRSA skin infection:
Frequent and proper hand washing
Cover all open wounds
Do Not Share Personal Items like towels, bar soap, razors
Wipe down exercise and shared equipment before and after use
Seek immediate medical attention for any reddened skin areas especially if they are painful, swollen or draining liquid or pus
Commonly used equipment should be cleaned on a regular basis with approved cleaners
If you have an open wound, do not use whirlpools, hydrotherapy pools, cold tubs, swimming pools or other common tubs.
Cover all wounds until healed
Learn how to recognize the signs of wound infections
Educate everyone using the facilities (home, work, school) about how to follow these guidelines
Alcohol and chlorine bleach have both proven to be effective topical sanitizers against the MRSA infection.
MRSA can survive on surfaces and fabrics, including curtains and clothing therefore complete surface sanitation is necessary.
The spread of MRSA infection can occur in any setting where there is crowding, skin-to-skin contact, individuals with open skin areas (cuts, abrasions etc.), contaminated items (clothing, equipment) and surfaces, and a general lack of cleanliness.
These settings described above can be in schools, military barracks, households, dormitories, daycare centers and also correctional facilities.
Prevention includes good hygiene, washing hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, covering skin wounds, avoid sharing personal items, use a barrier (clothing, towels) between your skin and shared exercise equipment (weight-training benches).