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    by Scott Holland | Aug 30, 2018

    As you welcome your new and returning students let’s remember that schools are natural breeding grounds for any number of infectious diseases.  Fortunately, most of these illnesses cause minor inconvenience and limited interruption to the learning process.  However, certain pathogenic microorganisms can cause more serious disease and will require medical intervention.  One of the more common ones is Methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus, MRSA for short, the dreaded skin infection.

    MRSA has traditionally been associated to health-care facilities, but it is becoming increasingly common for student-athletes participating in close contact sports (e.g. football, wrestling, lacrosse, etc.). MRSA is spread either by direct physical contact or indirect touching of contaminated objects. This includes touching, using, or sharing towels, clothes, equipment that have been used by someone who has MRSA, combined with poor hygiene habits (e.g. lack of hand washing, showering, etc.).

    MRSA usually first appears as a type of skin infection such as pimples or abscesses which can be red, swollen, and painful.  These may be confused with insect bites initially, and may also be associated with existing abrasions.  Without proper medical care, more serious infections can develop.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest the following measures for preventing staphylococcal skin infections, including MRSA, and related infections:

    1. Practice good hand hygiene by washing hands frequently and in a thorough fashion with soap and warm water and/or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
    2. Shower with hot water and wash with liquid soap (not bar soap) following all physical activities.
    3. Avoid sharing towels, equipment and razors.
    4. Use a barrier (e.g. clothing or a towel) between your skin and shared equipment.
    5. Wipe surfaces of equipment with a disinfectant wipe before and after use.
    6. Clean and properly cover any open wounds with an appropriate bandage.
    7. Avoid whirlpools, and other common tubs if you have an open wound.
    8. Maintain clean facilities and equipment and disinfect with an EPA registered disinfectant that has label efficacy against S. aureus and/or MRSA.Follow all label directions regarding proper use dilution and required surface dwell times. We recommend our Vital Oxide or Clorox Total 360.
    9. Do not ignore skin infections. Report them to a physician immediately.

    Following the above outlined steps will help you protect your students, staff and visitors.  If you are interested in learning more about how programs can help you with many of these precautions, please contact your Philip Rosenau representative.