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MRSA Information

MRSA, Staph Infections, and what you need to know

What is Staphylococcus Aureus?
Staphylococcus aureus (staph) is a bacterium that is carried on the hands and in the nose of healthy people. Occasionally, the staph bacteria can cause minor infections such as pimples and boils. They may be red, swollen, and painful and have pus or other drainage. These infections can be successfully treated with antibiotics. Staphylococcus Aureus (staph) are the most common causes of skin infections in the United States.

What is Methicillin- Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus or MRSA?
MRSA is a staph infection that is resistant to the Penicillin family of antibiotic drugs.

What does a staph or MRSA infection look like?
Most infections caused by staph or MRSA look similar to pimples, boils, and spider bites. Most are red, swollen, more painful than normal, and have pus or other drainage.

How can I determine between a staph infection and MRSA?
Staph infections and MRSA are very similar in appearance. Only a physician who has cultured the wound can tell you if the infection is indeed MRSA.

How is MRSA spread?
MRSA is spread from skin-to-skin contact and contact with surfaces that have been in contact with someone else's skin infection such as towels, razors, athletic equipment, etc.

How can I prevent at staph infection?
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has posted the following recommendations on preventing staph infections:

  • Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Keep all cuts and scrapes covered with a bandage until completely healed
  • Avoid sharing personal items such as towels, razors, athletic equipment, and bars of soap
  • Shower immediately after any athletic activity

Are staph infections and MRSA treatable?
Yes. Most staph infections are treated with antibiotics. If given and antibiotic, take the prescription in its entirety, even if the infection has healed. However, some staph infections may require draining of the abscess or boil. This is to be done only by a healthcare provider.

What to do if you suspect a skin staph infection.
See your healthcare provider immediately.

What is Averett doing to prevent MRSA?
Averett is taking a proactive approach. A deep cleaning was conducted throughout the entire campus over Fall Break. Averett utilizes a specially formulated cleaner, SaniMaster 4, which kills MRSA bacteria. The staff continues to clean, using this product, on a daily basis. We urge students to take the precautions mentioned above.

Resources:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
www.cdc.gov

The National Athletic Trainer's Association
www.nata.org

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