What is MRSA?
Staphylococcus aureus, commonly known as staph, is a bacteria found on the skin. Sometimes these bacteria can cause a minor infection such as a rash or pimples or a more serious infection such as pneumonia. Methicillin is the antibiotic usually used to treat these staph infections; however, some bacteria have changed so the antibiotic methicillin will no longer kill the bacteria. These bacteria are called Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus or MRSA.
Who gets MRSA?
MRSA infection can develop in the young, the old, the sick, anyone who has an open wound or if their immune system is not working as well. You can get MRSA in the community or from being in the hospital. You may also get MRSA from taking too many antibiotics or not finishing all your antibiotics as directed by your doctor.
What is the difference between MRSA colonization and infection?
Colonization means MRSA is present on or in the body without causing illness. Infection means MRSA is making the person sick. Often, colonized patients will never become infected or sick from the MRSA, but some colonized patients will get sick and have infection.
How is MRSA spread?
MRSA, as with most bacteria, is spread most commonly on the hands through touch or contact. This is why we isolate, or separate, patients with MRSA. This includes all the patient's personal items such as blankets, clothing, charts and stethoscope.
What should I do at home after discharge to help my child?
Make sure everyone washes his or her hands before and after contact with infant. As with any infant, keep your baby clean with sponge baths and bathe as indicated.
Good handwashing means:
1. Wet your hands with warm water.
2. Wash your hands using soap for 20 seconds, rubbing gently.
3. Rinse all the soap off the hands.
4. Completely dry hands with paper towel and throw towel away. (Cloth towels may have germs left by the last person who did not wash correctly).
Healthcare workers visiting your home may continue to need to wear gowns and gloves while working with your child. Please help remind them of this safety practice.
Do not share clothing, blankets, or toys until after the items are washed.
Can my child attend daycare with MRSA?
MRSA will not prevent your baby from attending daycare; however, there may be other health concerns that may not allow you to put your infant in daycare. We suggest you talk to your infant's doctor about childcare.