MRSA Infects Professional Football Players! Are any athletes safe?

by Mary on October 21, 2013

I recently read an article by Stephanie Stahl, dated October 11, 2013, writing for CBS Philly where she proclaimed: ‘Health: MRSA Infects Some Tampa Bay Buccaneers Players; Will Eagles Game Go On?”

Who knew these highly prized and cared for athletes could be susceptible to things like MRSA?

According to the CDCMRSA is methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, a type of staph bacteria that is resistant to several antibiotics. In the general community, MRSA can cause skin and other infections. Anyone can get MRSA through direct contact with an infected wound or by sharing personal items, such as towels or razors,  that have touched infected skin. MRSA infection risk can be increased when a person is in certain activities or places that involve crowding, skin-to-skin contact, and shared equipment or supplies. This might include athletes, daycare and school students, military personnel in barracks, and people who recently received inpatient medical care.

The CDC’s website offers these personal hygiene steps you can take to reduce your risk of MRSA infection:

  • Maintain good hand and body hygiene. Wash hands often, and clean body regularly, especially after exercise.
  • Keep cuts, scrapes, and wounds clean and covered until healed.
  • Avoid sharing personal items such as towels and razors.
  • Get care early if you think you might have an infection.

The Mayo Clinic’s Website has these tips for preventing Community Associated MRSA

  • Wash  your hands. Careful hand-washing remains  your best defense against germs. Scrub hands briskly for at least 15  seconds, then dry them with a disposable towel and use another towel to turn off the faucet. Carry a small bottle of hand sanitizer containing at  least 62 percent alcohol for times when you don’t have access to soap and  water.
  • Keep  wounds covered. Keep cuts and abrasions clean and covered with sterile, dry bandages until they heal. The pus from infected sores may contain MRSA, and keeping wounds covered will help keep the bacteria from spreading.
  • Keep   personal items personal.  Avoid sharing personal items such as towels, sheets, razors, clothing and athletic equipment. MRSA spreads on contaminated objects as well as  through direct contact.
  • Shower  after athletic games or practices.   Shower immediately after each game or practice. Use soap and water. Don’t      share towels.
  • Sanitize  linens. If you have a cut or sore,  wash towels and bed linens in a washing machine set to the hottest water  setting (with added bleach, if possible) and dry them in a hot dryer. Wash  gym and athletic clothes after each wearing.

In upcoming blogs we will explore less toxic and as effective alternatives to bleach and alcohol based hand sanitizers.

What products do you use now? Respond back and we can compare notes, Mary

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