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Staph Infection


Information on Staphylococcal Infections

Antibiotic-resistant bacterial currently pose a significant health threat.  Since the summer of 2002, outbreaks of skin infections caused by antibiotic-resistant bacterial have been reported in sports teams.  This information is provided to assist you in the control and prevention of "staph" infections.

What is it?
  • Staphylococcus aureus commonly causes boils and soft tissue infections, as well as more serious conditions such as pneumonia or blood stream infections.
  • Usually occurs in the armpit, groin, genital areas and the inside of the nose.
  • Occurs through direct physical contact of the staph bacteria with break in the skin (cut or scrape) or during contact with inanimate objects soiled with wound drainage.
  • Bacterium is NOT carried through the air and is not found in dirt or mud.
  • MRSA, methicillin resistant staphylococcal aureus infection, is resistant to most antibiotics used to treat staph infections.
Preventing Staph Infections
  • Hand washing is single most important behavior in preventing infectious diseases

Other Precautions
  • Keep your hands away from your nose
  • Do NOT share towels, soap, lotion or other personal care items, even on the sidelines at games
  • Shower with soap and water as soon as possible after direct contact sports
  • Dry using a clean dry towel
  • Use moisturizing lotion to prevent dry, cracked skin
  • Wash your towels, uniforms, scrimmage shirts and any other laundry in hot water and ordinary detergent
  • Inform your parents of these precautions
See a Doctor
  • A physician should examine the wound
  • A culture and susceptibility test should be performed to determine what bacteria you have and what antibiotic would be most effective
  • Take all medication prescribed even after the infection seems to have healed
  • If a topical ointment is prescribed, apply as directed
  • Follow all directions the physician gives you
  • Inform your physician if you are not responding to treatment
How to Care for Wounds at Home
  • Keep the wound covered
  • Avoid direct contact with others until wound is no longer draining
  • Follow instructions by your physician on resuming your usual activities
  • Wash your hands frequently, especially before and after changing bandages
  • Dispose of all materials that come in contact with the wound in a separate plastic bag and close before disposing of in the household trash
  • use isopropyl alcohol to disinfect reusable materials, such as scissors or tweezers after each use
  • All items that come in contact with the wound must be disinfected with a fresh (prepared daily) mix of one tablespoon of household bleach to one quart of water or a phenol containing product such as Lysol or Pine Sol (Clorox towelettes also work great)
  • Have a designated chair (hard surface) or area for sitting
  • Handle and launder all clothing, towels, and linens that come in contact with would separately from those of other family members
  • Articles that come in contact with the wound should be washed in hot water with detergent
  • Towels and linens should be changed daily
  • Do not share ointments or antibiotics
Additional Sources for Information

When in doubt of the correct procedure to follow, contact your healthcare provider, your local or regional health department, or the Texas Department of Health.

Texas Dept. of Health http://www.tdh.state.tx.us/ideas/factsht/factsht.htm

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/hip/ARESIST/mrsa.htm Http://cdc.gov/drugresistance/ community/