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MRSA

MRSA (Methicillin- Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus) is a bacteria that can cause infections of the skin, lungs, bones or other areas.

  • MRSA infections can look exactly like ordinary staphylococcal infections of the skin- a small red bump, pimple or boil. The area may be red, painful, swollen or warm to the touch. Most infections are mild but they can change becoming deeper and more serious. Deeper infections such as an abscess, which is a collection of pus, may require surgical drainage and antibiotics.
  • Insect bites or rashes may mimic an infection with MRSA.
  • CALL THE CLINIC IF YOUR CHILD HAS SWELLING ASSOCIATED WITH REDNESS AND TENDERNESS, FEVER OR DRAINAGE FROM A BUMP, PIMPLE OR WOUND.

WHO GETS MRSA?

  • People who have had recent surgery or a hospital stay are at increased risk of developing MRSA. Elderly people, those who reside in nursing homes or those with chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, cancer, HIV or a weakened immune system are also at increased risk.
  • Healthy people are also at risk of Community Acquired MRSA. Outbreaks have occurred at schools, gyms, day care centers and other places where people share close quarters.
  • Household pets such as cats and dogs may be carriers without symptoms, and can possibly re-infect their owners.
  • Public Beaches may be a source of MRSA. A study by researchers at the University of Washington identified MRSA in marine water and beach sand from seven public beaches on the Puget Sound. It is recommended to keep open cuts/scrapes covered and to shower after swimming or using the beach.

TREATMENT

  • Your doctor may open and drain the abscess, and send a culture to the lab to confirm the diagnosis. Your child may need a surgical referral depending upon the extent of infection.
  • Antibiotics may also be prescribed.
  • Wash and dress the wound with Dial soap or Hibiclens as directed by your doctor.
  • We may recommend adding ¼ cup bleach in a full tub of water to kill bacteria on the skin.
  • Some people carry the bacteria in the nose and never have any abscesses. However, we may recommend using an antibiotic ointment for all family members to use in the nose twice daily for 5-7 days in order to prevent the spread of infection.

PREVENTION

  • Frequent hand washing with antibacterial soap or an alcohol based hand sanitizer.
  • Keep fingernails short and clean
  • In general, your child should bathe daily to help keep small cuts and scratches from becoming infected.
  • MRSA is becoming more frequent in locker rooms. NEVER share sports equipment with another player. Consider having equipment professionally cleaned.
  • Wipe down surfaces you may come in contact with at the gym.
  • Shower immediately after sports, especially when there has been skin to skin contact.
  • DO NOT share personal hygiene items such a razors, towels etc.