Question for Betty.

Could you explain the general guidelines for treating a MRSA infection, including risk of spreading this infection? Does the patient need to miss class or work, if they have a MRSA infection?

Betty's Answer.

Staphylococcus aureus (or "Staph") is a bacteria that may cause skin infections that look like pimples or boils.  Skin infections caused by Staph my be red, swollen, painful, or have pus or other drainage.  In the past, Staph infections were treated with antibiotics derived from penicillin, such as methicillin.  Staph that can can be treated with these drugs is called methicillin-susceptible Staphylococuss aureus, or MSSA.  However, some Staph known as Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus, or MRSA, are resistant to certain antibiotics, making it harder to treat. 

Treatment for a Staph skin infection may include taking an antibiotic and/or having a health care provider drain the infection. 

To keep Staph infections from spreading:

Keep hands clean by washing with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based sanitizer if a sink is not available.

Keep cuts and scrapes clean and cover them with bandages.

Avoid touching other people's wounds or bandages.

Avoid sharing personal items like towels, razors, clothing, uniforms, brushes, combs or makeup.

You may attend classes or work, if you follow the above guidelines.

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