MRSA 101 - New York News

MRSA 101

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(WJBK) -

MRSA is an acronym for a staph bacteria that's resistant to commonly used antibiotics. Many of us are walking around with staph on our bodies right now, but when it gets into your bloodstream, it can be dangerous.

Most often MRSA shows up in hospital settings, but MRSA can easily spread to places where people have close contact.

"Sports - there's close contact. So football, wrestling, rugby - which isn't so common - but where you're hitting each other, where you're scraping and injuring your skin, if one person has it, that kind of contact [will pass it along]. The other place is being careful about personal items. Sharing a towel, sharing a razor, sharing a brush or something where you're going from one person to another - it's always person-to-person communication," says Dr. Joel Kahn of Michigan Healthcare Professionals PC.

Symptoms of a MRSA skin infection include:

  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Fever
  • Confusion  



Treating it can be tricky. "All staph infections can grow with incredible speed, but when we don't have easy antibiotics to treat them, the typical penicillin you might treat a staph infection with, this bacteria will just laugh at. So that's why it's challenging, and it can be very serious," Dr. Kahn adds.

Basic hand washing is a good first step, but alone it will not prevent the infection. Dr. Kahn explains what else you can do for prevention. "If [you] have an infection, wash it and cover it up. If [you] have a scratch or scrape, if [you] see a friend that has a scratch or a scrape, tell them do the same thing. Don't share things in the locker room. Have your own towel. Have your own gym kit and report to a coach if you're really concerned that something looks pusy or infected."

The CDC offers up good advice on how to keep athletic facilities clean.

Click here to view that list.

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