Beware of MRSA

Beware of MRSA

That super bug – the MRSA bacterium we’ve been hearing about lately – has proven to be deadly in hospital settings, but MRSA can be spread in any environment where many people gather.

Here’s a first-hand account from an HSI member named Lee: “MRSA has invaded our family. The 17-year-old daughter who is a senior in high school. Kids all over the Untied States are getting this stuff. It always appears to John Q Public that you only get this stuff in a hospital environment. Wrong and double wrong. Our daughter was never even close to a hospital.

“What you really need to be doing is telling people what the symptoms look like. We thought it was a Recluse spider bite. Looks the same. Other kids I know that have had it did not have the spider bite look but a rash.

“The other thing that needs to happen is to warn the schools and school nurses and instruct them on what this looks like. It blew completely out of control in 3 days or less. Stop talking about hospitals and talk about schools and how it is transmitted.”

There’s actually quite a bit of talk about MRSA in schools here in Maryland where a number of infections have been reported, prompting an all-out effort to disinfect certain schools.

The Baltimore Sun reports that the staph bacteria is common (found on skin or in the nose), but only creates problems when it comes in contact with cuts or breaks in the skin.

The best defense: Wash hands thoroughly and frequently, and make sure skin abrasions are cleaned and bandaged.

“Three Area Students Treated for Staph Infections” Madison Park, The Baltimore Sun, 10/25/07,