Staph Prevention Tips
METHICILLIN RESISTANT STAPHYLOCOCCUS AUREUS
(This Information Provided by the Laredo Health Department)
Laredo TX -- Due to the recent concern about Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) issued an update on this matter. Laredo City officials and members of Laredo’s medical community want you to know what this means to Laredo.
What is MRSA?
Staphylococcus aureus (Staph) is a bacteria normally found on the skin or in the nose of healthy persons. Staph may cause skin infections that look like pimples or boils. It can be red, swollen, and painful or has pus or other drainage, and can be associated with low grade fever. It is one of the most common causes of skin infections in the United States. Staph can also cause systemic infections such as pneumonia and food poisoning.
How can I get a Staphylococcus aureus infection?
Persons are more likely to get a Staph infection when:
- They have bodily contact with someone with a Staph infection
- Have contact with items and surfaces with Staph on them
- Have open wounds, cuts or scrapes
- They live in crowded living conditions with poor hygiene and sanitation (schools, gymnasiums, college dormitories and daycares are especially vulnerable when appropriate hygiene and sanitation is not practiced)
- Have inadequate infection control and isolation procedures
- Self-medication or inappropriate medication may also contribute to drug resistance.
How serious are Staphylococcus aureus infections?
Most Staph skin infections are minor and may be easily treated. Staph may also cause more serious infections such as pneumonia. Sometimes, a Staph infection starts as a skin infection and may worsen. It is important to contact your doctor if your infection does not get better.
How can I prevent Staphylococcus aureus or MRSA skin infections?
- Practice good hygiene
- Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
- 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 or razors in gyms and dormitories
- Take medication exactly as your physician has prescribed and for the time prescribed and never share or self medicate yourself or others with your medication.
- Cover your wounds. Keep wounds that are draining or have pus covered with clean, dry bandages. Follow your provider’s instructions on proper wound care. Pus from infected wounds can contain Staph and MRSA. Bandages and dressings can be discarded with the regular trash.
- Clean your hands. You, your family, and others in close contact should wash their hands frequently with soap and warm water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, 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 infected wounds, especially in gyms, dormitories, hospital/long term care settings and specialty care institutions (dialysis centers). Wash sheets, towels, and clothes that become soiled with water and laundry detergent. Drying clothes appropriately helps kill bacteria in clothes.
- Talk to your doctor about MRSA and always follow directions for medication exactly as prescribed and for the time they have prescribed.
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