Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Help Stop MRSA!
I am a hand-washing freak...at least I have been told. I also like to make sure my kids practice good hand washing techniques. I know that so many germs and bacterias like to lurk on our hands, and we use them so much~ especially to put things in our mouths. I like to think that with good hand washing, many sicknesses and diseases can be avoided.
MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) is a type of Staph bacteria found on the skin and in the nose that is resistant to antibiotics. More than 90,000 Americans get potentially deadly MRSA infections every year and in 2005, nearly 19,000 Americans died from MRSA infections. More deaths are linked to MRSA infections than AIDS. There are two known types of MRSA. You may have heard of Health care-Associated (HA-MRSA), which occurs in hospitals and nursing homes, but a newer type of MRSA is Community-Associated (CA-MRSA), which has recently begun to spread in public settings like gyms, locker rooms, households and schools.
People can carry MRSA and not have any symptoms. These "carriers" can also transmit the bacteria to other people. can be easily spread through skin-to-skin contact and by touching contaminated items. This is why it is crucial to take measures to help reduce the spread of MRSA using these practical steps.
Scrub up - Wash your hands frequently with soap and warm water for at least 15 seconds - the time it takes to sing Happy Birthday twice - or use an alcohol-based hand rub sanitizer.
Wipe it down - Use a disinfecting bleach solution to wipe down and disinfect hard surfaces. Make sure to use clean cloths to avoid spreading MRSA from one surface to another. (1 tablespoon of disinfecting bleach diluted in 1 quart of water)
Cover your cuts - Keep any nicks or wounds covered with a clean, dry bandage until healed.
Keep to yourself - Do not share personal items, like towels or razors, that come into contact with bare skin.
Use a barrier - Keep a towel or clothing between skin and shared equipment.
MRSA, like other staph bacteria, can cause a skin infection such as pimples, rashes, abscesses, boils or what can look like a spider bite. These infections are usually warm, painful, red or swollen. Those are symptoms to really watch for and to let you Doctor know about. Reading about this disease makes me even more firm about hand washing, and making sure my kids wash up well! Help spread the word about this bacteria, and the MRSA Website to help prevent it!
You can Help Stop MRSA by joining the coalition...and it is free!