Thursday, October 23, 2008

Stop MRSA Now

We all know there are germs lurking around almost every place we take our children. If you're like me, you get a little more complacent with each child, maybe skipping the hand-washing before dinner, or after the playground. Recently, an infection has come to my attention which cannot be ignored.

Many of us are familiar with the Staph bacteria, which can sometimes cause infections. There is a type of Staph, which can prove potentially deadly, and we must be armed with the facts. And here they are:

MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) is a type of Staph bacteria found on the skin and in the nose that is resistant to antibiotics. More than 90,000 Americans get potentially deadly MRSA infections every year and in 2005, nearly 19,000 Americans died from MRSA infections. More deaths are linked to MRSA infections than AIDS.

There are two known types of MRSA. You may have heard of Healthcare-Associated (HA-MRSA), which occurs in hospitals and nursing homes, but a newer type of MRSA is Community-Associated (CA-MRSA), which has recently begun to spread in public settings like gyms, locker rooms, households and schools.
But there is no need to freak out! According to Stop MRSA Now, there are steps we can take!
  • Scrub up - Wash your hands frequently with soap and warm water for at least 15 seconds - the time it takes to sing Happy Birthday twice - or use an alcohol-based hand rub sanitizer.
  • Wipe it down - Use a disinfecting bleach solution to wipe down and disinfect hard surfaces. Make sure to use clean cloths to avoid spreading MRSA from one surface to another. (1 tablespoon of disinfecting bleach diluted in 1 quart of water)
  • Cover your cuts - Keep any nicks or wounds covered with a clean, dry bandage until healed.
  • Keep to yourself - Do not share personal items, like towels or razors, that come into contact with bare skin.
  • Use a barrier - Keep a towel or clothing between skin and shared equipment.
I have had a few friends deal with staph infections recently, and thankfully, they weren't MSRA, but it has really gotten me thinking about preventing this bacteria from harming my family.

This post sponsored by Mom Central.


Kara said...

Great post! It is so true that with each child parents seem to become more and more relaxed. Important to keep in mind general health in order to prevent infections like MRSA. Thanks for the information!

Noelle said...

Oh my this was a bit freaky to find on your site as I stopped by for some 'chocolate' :-) I had never heard of this, and just got a letter in the mail this past Friday that where my 15 year old daughter volunteered at a church the week before there had been somebody come down with this! They said it was a mild case and they were not concerned. But I will be looking into it more. Like Incubation and symptoms. Thanks! @TakeRoot

Sarah said...

Oh, wow, Noelle! A student got it at a grocery store a few years ago here! I'm glad I know about it, so I can ask the Dr. if I ever suspect.