Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus

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STAPH or Staphylococcus aureus is a bacterium that is commonly found in the nose and on the skin of healthy people. It is estimated that 30 percent of the population carry staph, but may not cause an infection. Any break in the skin, including a scrape, scratch or cut can allow Staph to enter into the body and may cause an infection. Staph bacteria are one of the most common causes of skin infections in the United States (www.cdc.gov). Most of these skin infections are minor, such as pimples or boils, however staph infections can also be red, painful, swollen, or have pus or other drainage. It is up to your doctor to decide your treatment. Unfortunately, some staph infections are resistant to antibiotics such as methicillin. This resistant staph infection is called Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA).

To help prevent staph or MRSA infections:

  • Keep your hand clean by washing with soap and water or use hand sanitizers
  • 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, razors, or soap bars

If you have a staph infection:

  • Cover your wound
  • Wash your hands often
  • Put dirty dressings in the garbage unless dressing is saturated with drainage, then place it in a plastic bag before placing in your garbage
  • If you are given an antibiotic, take all of the doses, even if the infection is getting better, unless your doctor tells you to stop taking it