What is Staphylococcus Aureus (Staph)? Staphylococcus Aureus, commonly referred to as “staph”, can be carried on the skin or in the nose. Staph is one of the most common causes of skin infections in the United States.
What is MRSA (Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus)? Some staph bacteria are resistant to antibiotics. MRSA is a type of staph that is resistant to certain antibiotics.
What does a staph or MRSA infection look like? Staph bacteria, including MRSA, can cause skin infections that may look like a pimple or boil and can be red, swollen, painful, or have pus or other drainage.
How are MRSA and staph infections spread? Any open wound is a potential entry point for MRSA or other infections. Factors that have been associated with the spread of MRSA include close skin-to-skin contact, opening in the skin such as cuts or abrasions, and contaminated items and surfaces.
How can I prevent staph or MRSA infections? Practice good hygiene. Keep your hands clean by washing thoroughly with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Keep cuts and scrapes clean and covered with a bandage until healed. Avoid contact with other people’s wounds or bandages. Avoid sharing personal items such as towels or razors.
What should I do if I think my child has a staph infection? Contact your healthcare provider immediately.
If I have a staph or MRSA infection, what can I do to prevent others from getting infected? Keep wounds that are draining or have pus covered with clean, dry bandages. You and anyone you come in close contact with should wash their hands frequently with soap and warm water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, especially after changing the bandage or touching the infected wound. Avoid sharing personal items such as towels, washcloths, razors, or any article of clothing that may have come in contact with the infected wound or bandage. Tell your healthcare providers who treat you that you have or have had a MRSA or staph infection. Check with your child’s Physician regarding when your child should return to school. Contact the School Nurse or Principal if your child has a staph infection. Bring a note from the Physician upon returning to school after having a staph infection stating when the child may return to school.
Are staph and MRSA treatable? Most staph and MRSA infections are treatable with antibiotics. If your healthcare provider prescribes an antibiotic, you must complete all the doses for it to be effective, even if the infection starts getting better. Do not share antibiotics with others. Sometimes the area may require draining. This should be done by your healthcare provider. Never drain the infected area at home.