Health Services: MRSA - Community Acquired Methicillin Resistant Staph Aureus
MRSA is very contagious and can spread easily through a college campus.
Most MRSA infections are skin infections that may appear as pustules or boils which often are red, swollen, painful, or have pus or other drainage. They often first look like spider bites or bumps that are red, swollen, and painful. These skin infections commonly occur at sites of visible skin trauma, such as cuts and abrasions, and areas of the body covered by hair (e.g., back of neck, groin, buttock, armpit, beard area of men).
Protect yourself through good hygiene
The key to preventing MRSA infections is for everyone to practice good hygiene:
- Keep your hands clean by washing thoroughly with soap (recommend Dial soap) and water or using an alcohol-based hand rub.
- Keep your finger nails trimmed and clean.
- Keep cuts and scrapes clean and covered with a bandage until healed.
- Avoid contact with other people’s wounds or bandages.
- Avoid sharing personal items such as towels, razors or tweezers.
- Keep dorm clean (especially bathroom, door knobs, computer and desk area). Wipe down the bathroom after you shower with a mixture of 1tbs bleach in 1 quart of water or with Lysol, Pinesol or antibacterial wipes.
Prevent the spread of MRSA if you have it.
- Cover your wound. Keep wounds that are draining, or have pus, covered with clean, dry bandages until healed. Follow your healthcare provider's instructions on proper care of the wound. Pus from infected wounds can contain staph, including MRSA, so keeping the infection covered will help prevent the spread to others. Bandages and tape can be discarded with the regular trash. You may continue to go to class, be in dorm and other activities that do not include skin to skin contact as long as the wound is covered with an occlusive dressing.
- Clean your hands. You and others in close contact should wash their hands frequently with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand rub, especially after changing the bandage or touching the infected wound.
- Do not share personal items. Avoid sharing personal items, such as towels, washcloths, razors, clothing, or uniforms, that may have had contact with the infected wound or bandage. Wash sheets, towels, and clothes that become soiled with water and laundry detergent. Use a dryer to dry clothes completely.
- Maintain a clean environment Establish daily cleaning procedures for frequently touched surfaces and surfaces that come into direct contact with your skin.
- Athlete practices designed to prevent disease spread include: a.) keep wounds covered and contained; b.) shower immediately after participation; c.) shower before using whirlpools; d.) wash and dry uniforms after each use
- Report to Coach, Trainer and/or Health Services immediately if any rash appears, so the infection can be treated.