MRSA (Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus)
As has been reported in the news media, a number of cases of community-acquired methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), more commonly known as a staph infection, have been recently reported in local school districts.
While MRSA may not respond to the medication methicillin, it can be effectively treated with other antibiotics. The following good hygiene practices can prevent the spread of MRSA:
- Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water or use an alcohol based hand sanitizer. For young children, they should wash their hands for the period of time that it would take them to sing the Happy Birthday song twice.
- Keep cuts and abrasions clean and covered with a bandage until healed.
- Avoid sharing personal items such as towels, water bottles, razors, etc.
- For student athletes, take a shower following sport activities; wipe surfaces of athletic equipment before and after use, launder athletic clothing and towels after each use.
MRSA infections typically begin as skin infections. They first appear as reddened areas on the skin, or can resemble pimples that develop into skin abscesses or boils causing fever, pus, swelling or pain. Early treatment is important. Parents are encouraged to contact their health care provider if their child has a sore that is not healing with usual care and treatment.
Additional information about MRSA from the New York State Department of Health is available at the following link: