How do I protect myself from MRSA?
Despite its virulence and its antibiotic resistance, MRSA infections are preventable.
- Most importantly, wash your hands properly. Vigorously rub your hands with soap and warm water for 20 seconds (sing the Happy Birthday song twice, preferably to yourself) . Use an air dryer or paper towel; turn off the faucet and open the door with the paper towel, then discard.
- If you use an alcohol hand sanitizer, it should be 60-95% alcohol. As with soap and water, you must rub vigorously for 20 seconds to displace the bacteria and viruses. Alcohols do not work if your hands are visibly soiled; in that case, use soap and water instead.
- If you have a wound, then keep it completely covered, especially if you are an athlete.
- Never shave your legs before getting a pedicure, as the small nicks can provide an entry for infection.
- Never share make-up, razors, towels, or athletic attire and gear.
- Place a towel between you and your locker room bench or gym equipment, and wash it in hot water after every use.
- Insist that your healthcare professional wash his or her hands before contacting you.
How do you treat MRSA?
MRSA is resistant to methicillin, but in most cases, it is still sensitive to other antibiotics. In some instances it can be treated simply by properly draining the wound. Consult your physician to determine the best treatment for you.
Do schools need to be closed if a student has MRSA?
According to the CDC, in most instances, no. However, if your child is infected, then inform the school and his or her coaches. Physical areas that could be contaminated should be disinfected with a bleach or phenol solution and any open wounds on your child must be adequately covered to minimize risk to others.