(The following is adapted from www.cdc.gov)
MRSA, or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus is a type of staph bacteria that is resistant to certain antibiotics. These antibiotics include methicillin and other more common antibiotics such as oxacillin, penicillin, and amoxicillin. In the community, most MRSA infections are skin infections. More severe or potentially life-threatening MRSA infections occur most frequently among patients in healthcare settings. While 25% to 30% of people are colonized–when a person carries the organism/bacteria but shows no clinical signs or symptoms of infection–in the nose with staph, less than 2% are colonized with MRSA.
MRSA infections can affect anyone, but persons with weakened immune systems due to age and/or co-morbidities are among those at a higher risk of infection. To protect our residents and ourselves it is important for care providers to take steps to prevent MRSA infection. The CDC recommends the following personal prevention practices:
The key to preventing MRSA infections is for everyone to practice good hygiene:
- Keep your hands clean by washing thoroughly with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand rub.
- Keep cuts and scrapes clean and covered with bandage until healed.
- Avoid contact with other people’s wounds and bandages.
- Avoid sharing personal items such as towels and razors.
Learn more at www.cdc.gov/mrsa