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).