UNDERSTANDING MRSA

by Doug on February 18, 2009

The Center for Disease Control announced September 8, 2008, that it had kicked off its National MRSA Education Initiative, to highlight specific actions parents can take to protect themselves and their families from this strain of infection that is resistant to broad-spectrum antibiotics used to treat it.

MRSA (methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus bacteria) – called “staph” infections are most common in hospital or health care settings.  Older people with weakened immune systems are most at risk.  It is a very serious infection that can sometimes be fatal.  Recently, another type of MRSA has occurred among otherwise healthy people, community associated MRSA or CA MRSA.  It causes serious skin and soft tissue infections and can also bring about a serious type of pneumonia.

In health care settings, it is stressed that patient care givers:

  • Practice immaculate hand hygiene
  • Wear gloves when caring for patient
  • Wear proper PPE, mouth, eye, nose protection
  • Wear gowns for protection
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces, i.e., bed rails, bed tables, door knobs, toilet areas, etc.
  • Patient should be kept in private room, with warning signs on door to make visitors aware of precautions they should take.

The CDC emphasizes to parents the importance teaching their children good hand hygiene, not using dirty towels (locker room), no direct contact with infected individual, and keeping cuts and scrapes clean, and covered with bandages.  They must recognize signs of suspected infection and get treatment.  It is especially important to contact the physician if the person has a skin infection accompanied by fever.

Persons may refer to websites, brochures, radio, public service announcement, blogging sites, and mainstream media for useful information to prevent and/or overcome this terrible infection.

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