Officials said MRSA has killed more people than AIDS in recent years. We’ve recently heard a lot about MRSA, the stubborn staph infection resistant to most common antibiotics. Experts at the centers for disease control say it has been responsible for more deaths in recent years than aids. But there are some steps you can take to keep your family MRSA-free.
From kid’s locker rooms to kitchen countertops, MRSA thrives in places you would expect, and places you wouldn’t. Dr. Marian Michaels, an infectious disease specialist says staph and MRSA can live in our nose and our gastrointestinal tract.
The bacteria turns ugly when it spreads from an infected person’s nose to an open cut or scratch. It can live for up to twenty-four hours on just about any surface, and it is resistant to most common antibiotics. But health experts say you can prevent MRSA’s spread very easily.
- Wash your hands: A special gel simulates dirt and bacteria, like MRSA. Dr. Michaels say most people splash some water on their hands, and think that’s enough. But just a splash washes nothing away; neither does five seconds of washing, with a little soap. It takes a full 20 seconds with soap and hot water to remove harmful bacteria.
- Practice good household habits: Over-the counter cleaners should remove mrsa from surfaces.
- Don’t share personal items like towels or washcloths
- Make sure your child’s athletic equipment gets a good scrubbing daily.
Check the family pet: Veterinarian Dr. Michael Hutchinson says MRSA can live in a dog’s nose. The animal can remain healthy, but possibly pass the suberbug back to its human companions.The bottom line; Dr. Michales says it may be possible to squash the MRSA superbug by keeping your hands, your home and your best friend clean.
MRSA should not create public panic. The infection can be effectively treated with a second line, or less commonly used antibiotic. More serious cases of MRSA that have a 20% chance of being fatal, are usually spread in hospitals and jails, rather than in the community.