There has recently been a great deal of information about the dangers of staph infections in the news. Staphylococcus aureus are common bacteria found on the skin and in the nose of people. These bacteria are usually harmless; however, they can cause infections and lead to serious illness, particularly when introduced to an open sore. The most common treatment is antibiotics.
Staph infections may begin abruptly. Symptoms may include a large area of redness on the skin, swelling and pain, followed by a pustule, abscess, boil or carbuncle (red, lumpy sores filled with pus). If left untreated, staph can infect blood and bones, causing severe illness that requires hospitalization.
Methicillin resistant Staphyloccus aureus (MRSA) are strains of staph that are resistant to many antibiotics. Previously these strains of staph were found in hospital settings; however, these infections have more recently been occurring in other environments. MRSA is most commonly seen as a skin infection and has proven to be more difficult to treat and even deadly. Early diagnosis and treatment are the most effective ways to treat these infections.
The spread of Staph infections are by direct contact; however, it can also be spread indirectly by contact with materials and clothing from an infected area. We try to prevent these infections by educating students to use proper hygiene and to avoid sharing clothing or materials. In addition, we sanitize areas that are high risk for the spread of infection. Most importantly, we recommend the practice of good hygiene to stem the spread of these bacteria. The following are some good practices to help prevent the spread of infection:
*Frequent hand washing with soap and water.
*Showering with soap and water after participating in contact sports.
*Keep all cuts, abrasions, or any opening in the skin clean and properly covered with a dressing until the wound is healed.
*Avoid contact with other people’s wounds or contaminated materials from infected wounds.
*Wash dirty clothes, linens, and towels with hot water and laundry detergent.
*Avoid sharing personal items such as towels, razors, deodorant, make-up, or soap that directly touches the body.
We take the health and wellbeing of our students very seriously. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact your campus nurse.