• Child with bandage

    Community-Associated, Methicillin-Resistant Staph Aureus

    Hospital-associated MRSA has been known since the 1960s, but community-associated strains have emerged in recent years. It is very easily passed from one person to the other.

    MRSA infections are skin and soft tissue infections that may appear as pustules or boils which are often red, swollen, painful, or have pus or other drainage. These skin infections usually occur at sites of visible trauma, such as cuts and abrasions, and areas of the body covered by hair; i.e., back of neck, groin, buttock, armpit, or beard of men.

    Almost all MRSA infections can be effectively treated with or without antibiotics. More serious infections are very rare in healthy people who get MRSA skin infections.

    MRSA is typically transmitted by direct, skin-to-skin contact or contact with shared items or surfaces such as used towels, bandages, razors or shared sports equipment. This can be an issue for children playing on playgrounds and students participating in sports.

    The single most important line of defense is frequent and effective hand washing with soap and water, or using a hand sanitizer when soap and water is not readily available. Teach and promote proper hygiene, especially hand washing, as well as showering after participating in sport activities. Clean and cover all wounds until healed.

    It is not necessary to inform the school that your child has a MRSA infection due to privacy guidelines. Students with MRSA infections should not be excluded from school, unless the student has a wound that is draining and cannot be covered and contained with a clean, dry bandage and/or students who cannot maintain good personal hygiene. Students with active infections should be excluded from activities where skin to skin contact is likely to occur until their infections are healed.