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. Sometimes, staph can cause an infection. Staph 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). Sometimes they can be treated without antibiotics. However, staph also can cause serious infections (such as surgical wound infections, bloodstream infections, and pneumonia) do require antibiotic therapy.
What is MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus)?
Some staph bacteria are resistant to antibiotics. MRSA is a type of staph that is resistant to several common antibiotics. These antibiotics include methicillin and other more common antibiotics such as oxacillin, penicillin and amoxicillin. There are two types of infection. Hospital associated MRSA happens to people in healthcare settings. Community associated MRSA happens to people who have close skin-to-skin contact with others, such as athletes.
Infection control is key to stopping MRSA in hospitals. To prevent community-associated MRSA:
- Practice good hygiene
- Keep cuts and scrapes clean and covered with a bandage until healed
- Avoid contact with other people’s wounds or bandages
- Avoid sharing personal items, such as towels, washcloths, razors, or clothes
- Wash soiled sheets, towels and clothes in hot water with bleach and dry in a hot dryer
If a wound appears to be infected, see a healthcare provider. Treatment may include draining the infection and antibiotics.
Aransas County ISD is promoting a proactive approach to preventing staphylococcal infections by encouraging hand washing. Regular hand washing is the best way to prevent staph transmission. Using soap and water, or hand sanitizer – is essential in facilities where people work, live and play close together.
To address parent concerns about staph/MRSA infections in schools, we suggest you review the information on the following links:
What You Need to Know about Staph/MRSA Skin Infections http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/idcu/health/antibiotic_resistance/educational/whatyouneedtoknowstaph.pdf
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