You probably have heard about MRSA skin infections. The good news is that serious MRSA infections are rare. MRSA is treated with antibiotics but may require multiple medications.
MRSA stands for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Staphylococcus aureus is type of bacteria with different strains. Many strains of staph are quite common and most people have staph bacteria living on their skin without causing any problems. If staph infections get into a person's body through a cut, scrape, or rash, they can cause minor skin infections. Most of these heal on their own but sometimes doctors prescribe antibiotics to treat more stubborn staph infections.
What makes MRSA different from other staph bacteria is that it has built up a resistance to the antibiotics doctors usually use to treat staph infections.
MRSA sin infections often develop around open sores, like cuts, scrapes or bites but they can occur on intact skin.
MRSA is not a new infection, the first case was reported in 1968. This infection used to only affect people with a weakened immunity. But now otherwise healthy people are getting the infection. Doctors call this type of infection community associated MRSA. People at greater risk for becoming infected with this are are those who spend a lot of time together in groups, such as in schools, and college dorms.
MRSA is contagious while there is a skin infection. Sometimes people can be "carriers" of MRSA without symptoms which is why proper handwashing is important.
The bacterial changes that lead to resistance can be caused by improper use of antibiotics like taking antibiotics for things they cannot cure like viruses and not taking a prescription antibiotic properly (e.g. not taking all the medication prescribed, or taking another person's antibiotic not prescribed for you).
1. Wash your hands often using soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use alcohol based hand sanitizers.
2. If you have a cut or broken skin, keep it clean and covered with a bandage.
3. Don't share raxors, towels, uniforms or other items that come into contact with bare skin.
4. Cover shared sports equipment with a barrier to prevent skin from touching it. All equipment should be cleaned before and after use with a disinfectant that works against MRSA.
5. Please call the health office if you have any questions or concerns.
As I am sure most of you have seen, we are having a very bad flu season nationwide!
Symptoms usually start suddenly and may include fever (usually high), chills, headache,
tiredness, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose and body aches.
PREVENT THE FLU FROM SPREADING!
1. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water. Rub your hands together for at least 20 seconds and use a paper towel to turn water off. If you use an alcohol based hand sanitizer, use a product that is at least 60% alcohol. Rub your hands together for 20 seconds or until the sanitizer is completely dry.
2. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs are spread from hands to face.
3. Cough or sneeze into your arm/sleeve--not your hands. If you use a tissue cover your mouth and nose and dispose of the tissue immediately.
4. Don't share food, drinks or personal items.
5. Keep your immune system strong with adequate rest, regular exercise and a healthy diet.
6. Get a flu shot.
7. If you suspect that you have the flu, call your health care provider.
8. As with any illness, do not send your child back to school unless they are fever free without medication for 24 hours!
9. Please call the health office if you have any questions.