MRSA - Prevention

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What methods do you use to prevent the spread of MRSA?

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How can people prevent MRSA infection?

Not making direct contact with skin, clothing, and any items that come in contact with either MRSA patients or MRSA carriers is the best way to avoid MRSA infection. In many instances, this situation is simply not practical because such infected individuals or carriers are not immediately identifiable. What people can do is to treat and cover (for example, antiseptic cream and a Band-Aid) any skin breaks or wounds and use excellent hygiene practices (for example, hand washing with soap after personal contact or toilet use, washing clothes that potentially came in contact with MRSA patients or carriers, and using disposable items when treating MRSA patients). Also available at most stores are antiseptic solutions and wipes to both clean hands and surfaces that may contact MRSA. These measures help control the spread of MRSA.

Pregnant women need to consult with their doctors if they are infected with or are carriers of MRSA. Although MRSA is not transmitted to infants by breastfeeding, there are a few reports that infants can be infected by their mothers who have MRSA, but this seems to be an infrequent situation. Some pregnant MRSA carriers have been successfully treated with the antibiotic mupirocin cream (Bactroban).

In 2007, the first incidence of MRSA in a pet was recorded. Although relatively rare, MRSA can be transferred between pets and humans. MRSA has been documented in dogs, cats, and horses but may be found in other animals in the future. Care and treatments are similar to those in humans, but a veterinarian should be consulted on all potential cases.

MRSA has been isolated from the environment (for example, beach sand and water), but there is no good documentation that people have become infected from these sources. Most authors suggest prevention methods should consist of a good soap and water shower after visiting the beach.

The CDC does not recommend (2010 guidelines) general screening of patients for MRSA. However, the CDC does recommend that high-risk patients who are being admitted to the hospital be screened for MRSA and then, if positive for MRSA, follow infection-control guidelines during the hospital stay. A recent study showed that the number of infections with both HA-MRSA and CA-MRSA has dropped since 2005-2008, and authorities speculate that such drops are due to infection-control measures in hospitals and better home-care measures (listed below).

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See what others are saying

Comment from: Lone Ranger, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: January 09

I had an MRSA boil, about 3 inches under my umbilicus. Who knows how it got there! It started out looking like a 'spider bite'; within 48 hours it was a big purple nasty boil that had to be incised and drained. Standard antibiotic therapy got rid of it, but I did not want this recurring, so based on the CDC's (Centre for Disease Control) 16 page white paper, here's what I've done to prevent reinfection. 1.) Disinfect all surfaces with bleach solution, especially bathroom and kitchen. It doesn't have to be that strong; one cup of bleach to a gallon of water is more than sufficient. Mop the floor with it as well. Along the same lines, use bleach with any towels you've used. You're trying to keep from re-infecting yourself, plus you're trying to keep anyone else from getting it. 2.) This isn't pleasant, but it's not too bad: You don't want this staph permanently colonizing your skin. I took bleach baths. One cup of bleach to a bath tub full of water is sufficient. Soak the affected area and all other surfaces of your skin. Don't get it in your eyes. 3.) In addition to the antibiotics, I applied silver chloride aqueous solution into my nose, both sides, as far up as I could get it. You can get it at any drug store. Doing these 3 things, I have beat the odds. Once you've had it, you're supposed to be a carrier for life, and prone to reinfection, and/or infecting others. I've not had another bout, nor have any of my family members gotten it. If you've had this, you know how badly you don't want anyone else to get this, so better to do the things above!

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Comment from: KChurch623, 0-2 Female (Caregiver) Published: January 16

My daughter was 6 months old when she was first diagnosed with MRSA. She is 2 years old now and has had about 4 more confirmed cases and probably another 4 that we've detected and began treatment at home with no culture. After the first case, we thought it was just a crazy incident, until about a month later when she got another abscess a couple of inches away, both in her diaper area. The infections always clear right up after the first few doses of the oral antibiotic. The topical ointment seemed to have made it worse, so we don't put that directly on the site, but for preventative measures, swipe it in her nostrils with a cotton swab. We also give her 3 baths with a cap full of bleach per week and use Hibiclens wash a few times per month. We've seen an immunologist to see if a suppressed immune system was to blame for the continuing number of recurring infections, but all of that checked out fine. We are waiting to be scheduled to see an infectious disease specialist, because with all of the preventative measures we take, the poor baby just keeps getting these painful abscesses.

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