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Author Topic: 5 MRSA 'Hotspots'  (Read 2658 times)

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Offline Smoothstone

  • Member
  • Posts: 96
5 MRSA 'Hotspots'
« on: January 17, 2008, 02:50:33 AM »
Excellent non sensationalized overview of MRSA.

http://www.medmdhealth.com/nl/nlv.aspx?id=gbdpi7IjjkA=&s=20243&p=7463

5 MRSA 'Hot Spots'
MRSA Loves Gyms, Barracks, Prisons, Schools -- and Your Nose

By Daniel DeNoon
WebMD Feature Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Where in your community can you find the drug-resistant staph germs
known as
MRSA ? The surprising answer: They're closer than you may think.

With all the buzz about MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus
aureus),
it's ea sy to forget there really are two MRSA epidemics going on at the
same time.

By far the largest epidemic is going on inside hospitals and other health
care facilities. The staph bug causing these infections resists treatment
with a broad range of antibiotics. Because it attacks so many people with
weakened immune systems, hospital-acquired MRSA accounts for the vast
majority of fatal MRSA infections.

But another, unrelated strain of MRSA is circulating in communities across
the U.S. This strain is resistant to first-line antibiotics.

News that MRSA is now killing at least 19,000 Americans each year has
focused public attention on community-acquired MRSA. Where does it lurk?
WebMD asked epidemiologist Jeff Hageman, one of the scientists
tracking MRSA
at the CDC.

"We see outbreaks in settings where there is crowding, a lot of skin
contact, and, often, a lack of good hygiene," Hageman tells WebMD.

Hot spots for these outbreaks have been:

a.. Athletic settings
b.. Military barracks
c.. Prisons
d.. Schools
Interestingly, Hageman says day care centers have not been hot spots for
MSRA outbreaks.

"It is kind of surprising to us that we have not received many reports of
MRSA in day care," he says. "We hear lots of reports of MRSA in children,
but not associated with day care. One reason is that day care centers
already have policies in place to handle a wide variety of diseases. Those
same policies would prevent MRSA infections."

Hageman says outbreaks happen when a person with an MRSA infection comes
into direct skin-to-skin contact with another person -- or after a person
uses a towel or other object that's been contaminated by an infected
person.

But you can't avoid MRSA by avoiding so-called hot spots.

"Staph is found anywhere. One in three people carry staph on their skin.
They can spread infections anywhere in the community," Hageman says.

The Main Hot Spot for MRSA

Why do so many people carry staph germs? Because the human body is the
staph
bacterium's natural habitat, says Gordon Dickinson, MD, chief of
infectious
diseases at the University of Miami and the Miami VA Medical Center.

"We are the ecology," Dickinson tells WebMD. "Humans are the ecological
niche for Staphylococcus aureus. MRSA is just a variant."

This means the No. 1 hot spot for MRSA is: your nose.

"It can live in moist areas of the skin -- like under the arms, in the
groin -- but you find it mainly inside the front of the nose," Dickinson
says.

Whose nose? There's a very good chance it's your own.

"Our current understanding is that 20% of healthy people never seem to
carry
staph, while up to 60% carry it sometimes," Dickinson says. "And 20% of
healthy people carry staph day in and day out, usually in their noses."

Most of these people carry the normal kind of staph. But an increasing
number carry MRSA. Why doesn't it hurt them?

"We don't understand why staph causes mischief. Most of the time it does
not," Dickinson says. "But presumably, little breaks in the skin allow
it to
get past our barriers. Then it can multiply -- and staph comes with a
bundle
of proteins and toxins and enzymes that allow it to do a lot of damage."

So how can you stop staph from getting from the front of your nose to your
skin?

"Theoretically, one thing people can do is quit picking their noses. But
that won't help -- studies show people can't keep their hands away from
their noses," Dickinson says.

Fortunately, there are a number of ways to prevent infection with both
normal staph and MRSA.

Stopping Staph

MRSA may be the latest scary germ to grab headlines, but good
old-fashioned
hygiene is the key to protection.

Here's how to keep MRSA at bay:

a.. Wash your hands . Your hands are the part of your body most
likely to
pick up a germ and transfer it to an itchy sore, your eyes, your mouth, or
your nose. So keep them clean. Use soap and warm water -- the rule of
thumb
is to scrub gently and thoroughly as long as it takes to sing the alphabet
song.
b.. Got a cut or scrape? Clean it -- and cover it with a bandage
until it
heals.
c.. Avoid contact with other people's wounds or bandages.
d.. Do not share towels, razors, or other personal items.
e.. Shower right away after exercise, especially at the gym. Don't toss
your wet towel in your gym bag. Clean and disinfect any gym bag that's
come
into contact with dirty athletic gear.
f.. Wash all athletic clothing daily. Regularly wash athletic gear
such as
elbow pads and kneepads.
g.. Bathe every day. MRSA can live on the skin, but it can be washed
away.
Staph can enter the body through hair follicles, so be particularly
careful
to clean your groin, underarms, arms, and legs.
h.. Be on the lookout for infections. Early on, a staph infection looks
like a spider bite (a red, irritated bump). Don't wait -- have a nurse or
doctor look at it.
i.. If you have an infection, don't try to squeeze out the pus. This
only
spreads germs on your skin. Have ALL infections treated by a health
professional.
j.. Practice careful hygiene when visiting crowded facilities such as
prisons, military bases, shelters, hospitals, and schools.


Offline Matty the Damned

  • Member
  • Posts: 12,228
  • Ninja Please
Re: 5 MRSA 'Hotspots'
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2008, 02:53:38 AM »
So tell us Hank, where do poppers fit into all this?

MtD

Offline vokz

  • Member
  • Posts: 391
  • efavirenz junkie
Re: 5 MRSA 'Hotspots'
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2008, 02:58:45 AM »
MRSA Loves Gyms, Barracks, Prisons,

I feel another off topic fantasy discussion coming on.

Offline appleboy

  • Member
  • Posts: 344
  • Just me!
Re: 5 MRSA 'Hotspots'
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2008, 07:22:16 AM »
Humm I was just thinking bath houses!   ::)
If you are walking down the street and your pants drop to your ankles bend over pick them up and keep on walking!
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