Skin Infections

What is MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus)?
     Some staph bacteria are resistant to antibiotics. MRSA is a type of staph that is resistant to certain antibiotics. Staph or MRSA infections in the community (Community Associated – MRSA) are usually manifested as skin infections, such as pimples and boils, and occur in otherwise healthy people.
What is Staphylococcus aureus (staph)?
     Staphylococcus aureus, often referred to simply as "staph," are bacteria commonly carried on the skin or in the nose of healthy people. Approximately 25% to 30% of the population is colonized (when bacteria are present, but not causing an infection) in the nose with staph bacteria. Sometimes, staph can cause an infection, and the bacteria are one of the most common causes of skin infections in the United States. Most of these skin infections are minor (such as pimples and boils) and can be treated without antibiotics.  MRSA skin infections can spread through close skin-to-skin contact, openings in the skin such as cuts or abrasions, and contaminated items and surfaces.
How does one reduce the transmission of MRSA in school settings?
     The most effective way to prevent the spread of MRSA is through personal hygiene.  Institutional measures will also help prevent the spread of MRSA.  These measures include, but are not limited to:
      Personal Hygiene Measures
  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water or alcohol based sanitizer;
  • Do not share personal care items, such as uniforms, towels, razors, and clothes;
  • Wash clothes, sheets, towels that have been spoiled with drainage from wounds or sores;
  • Clean new scrapes, cuts, and wounds as soon as possible;
  • Cover wounds that have pus or are draining with a bandage;
  • Visit a health care provider if you think you have an infection; and
  • Do not touch other people's wounds or sores.
Institutional Measures
  • Make soap and water or hand sanitizers available;
  • Exclude students from school and athletic activities if a wound is draining and cannot be kept clean, dry and covered;
  • Use a disinfectant that is EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) registered as effective against MRSA on surfaces;
  • Maintain a regular cleaning schedule
  • Clean locker room surfaces and areas touched by large numbers of people on a daily basis; and
  • Clean weight room equipment, mats and other athletic equipment on a regular schedule.