|Paper||Ogden Valley News|
|Rights||In Copyright (InC)|
|Rights Holder||SR Communications DBA, Eden, Utah|
|Publisher||Digitized by J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah|
|Paper||Ogden Valley News|
Page 14 The Ogden Valley news Volume XIV Issue XVII November 15, 2007 Antibiotic Resistant Staph Infections a Serious Health Concern Staphylococcus, more commonly known as staph, has traditionally been associated with hospitals—a bacteria you could catch while a patient in a rest home or hospital. But more and more, drug resistant strains of this nasty bug are showing up in patients and their environs that aren’t so typical. While there are about 30 different types of Staphylococci, most human infections are caused by Staphylococci aureus (MRSA), which can be found normally in the nose and throat, and on the skin of about 20% to 30% of healthy adults. The bacteria doesn’t usually become a problem unless the protective layer of your skin is injured or your immune system becomes compromised, allowing the bacteria to overcome the natural protective mechanisms of the body, which can then lead to infection. While staph can be deadly, if detected early, it is very treatable. Most signs of MRSA are manifest through skin infections such as boils or pimple like irritants that contain pus underneath the skin. Impetigo and styes along the eyelid are also caused by staph. While these minor irritants can all be successfully treated with antibiotics—such as topical antibiotic ointments or oral antibiotic treatments when necessary, many will clear up on their own, even without treatment, but usually heal much faster with treatment. Enlarged lymph nodes in the neck, armpits, or groin areas are also signs of a staph infection. Staph can become especially serious when it spreads to the bloodstream and affects the brain or the spinal cord (bacterial meningitis). A boil or skin infection that becomes very sore, may be a sign that the infection has spread. The infected area can then be accompanied by fever, chills, and red steaks radiating from the site of the original infection. Staph is also the bacteria that produces the toxins responsible for food poisoning and toxic shock syndrome. Flesh-eating bacteria, fatal pneumonia, bone infections, and life-threatening heart infections that are suddenly popping up around the country, striking ordinarily healthy people are signaling a major concern that health professionals are keeping a close eye on. Schools nationwide have been hit by antibiotic-resistant staph and so have its victims, who normally lead very healthy lives, not typically fitting the standard profile of those prone to serious illness by the bacteria. No longer is staph posing a serious health risks primarily to those 65 years of age and older who have recently had a hospital or nursing home stay. Elizabeth Bancroft who works at the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health stated, “Young, healthy people who haven’t been to a hospital since birth [are] getting sick.” According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, MRSA was behind more than 94,000 life-threatening infections and almost 19,000 deaths in the U.S. in 2005. What type of infections does MRSA cause? with a clean dry bandage until healed; contain staph, including MRSA, so keeping • In the community most MRSA infections are • Avoiding the sharing personal items (e.g., the infection covered will help prevent the skin infections that may appear as pustules or towels, razors) that come into contact spread to others. Bandages and tape can be boils which often are red, swollen, painful, or with your bare skin; and using a barrier (e.g., discarded with the regular trash. have pus or other drainage. These skin infecclothing or a towel) between your • Clean your hands frequently. You, your famtions commonly occur at sites of visible skin skin and shared equipment such as weightily, and others in close contact should wash trauma, such as cuts and abrasions, and areas training benches; their hands frequently with soap and water of the body covered by hair (e.g., back of neck, • Maintaining a clean environment by estabor use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, espegroin, buttock, armpit, beard area of men). lishing cleaning procedures for frequently cially after changing the bandage or touching • Almost all MRSA skin infections can be touched surfaces and surfaces that come into the infected wound. effectively treated by drainage of pus with or direct contact with people’s skin. • Do not share personal items. Avoid sharing personal items, such as towels, washcloths, razors, clothing, or uniforms that may have Why Antibiotic Immune MRSA is in the Community had contact with the infected wound or bandage. Wash sheets, towels, and clothes that • Unnecessary antibiotic use in humans. Like other superbugs, MRSA is the result of become soiled with water and laundry deterdecades of excessive and unnecessary antibiotic use. For years, antibiotics have been gent. Use a dryer to dry clothes completely. prescribed for colds, flu, and other viral infections that don’t respond to these drugs, as • Enforce hand hygiene with soap and water or well as for simple bacterial infections that normally clear on their own. alcohol-based hand sanitizers (if available) • Antibiotics in food and water. Prescription drugs aren’t the only source of antibiotbefore eating and after using the bathroom. ics. In the U.S. antibiotics can be found in beef cattle, pigs, and chickens. The same antibiotics then find their way into municipal water systems when the runoff from feedlots contaminates streams and groundwater. Routine feeding of antibiotics to animals Prevention Cleanliness and good hygiene are the best is banned in the European Union and many other industrialized countries. Antibiotics given in the proper doses to animals who are sick don’t appear to produce resistant ways to protect yourself against getting staph (and other) infections. You can help prevent bacteria. • Germ mutation. Even when antibiotics are used appropriately, they contribute to the staph skin infections by washing your hands rise of drug-resistant bacteria because they don’t destroy every germ they target. frequently and by bathing or showering daily. Keep areas of skin that have been injured— Bacteria live on an evolutionary fast track, so germs that survive treatment with one antiotic soon learn to resist others. And because bacteria mutate much more quickly such as cuts, scrapes, eczema, and rashes caused than new drugs can be produced, some germs end up resistant to just about everything. by allergic reactions or poison ivy—clean and covered, and use any antibiotic ointments or That’s why only a handful of drugs are now effective against most forms of staph. other treatments that your doctor suggests. If For more information, visit <www.mayoclinic.com/health/mrsa/ds00735/> someone in your family has a staph infection, Source: Mayo Clinic don’t share towels, sheets, or clothing until the without antibiotics. More serious infections, Should the entire school community be noti- infection has been fully treated, since staph such as pneumonia, bloodstream infections, fied of an MRSA infection? is easily transmitted from one member of a or bone infections, are very rare in healthy Usually, it should not be necessary to inform household to others. Linens should be changed people who get MRSA skin infections. the entire school community about a single daily until symptoms disappear, and laundered How is MRSA transmitted? MRSA infection. When an MRSA infection separately in hot water with bleach. • MRSA is usually transmitted by direct skin-to- occurs within the school population, the school If you develop a staph infection, you can skin contact or contact with shared items or sur- nurse and school physician should determine, prevent spreading it to other parts of your faces that have come into contact with someone based on their medical judgment, whether some body by being careful not to touch the infected else’s infection (e.g., towels, used bandages). or all students, parents and staff should be noti- skin, keeping it covered whenever possible, and In what settings do MRSA skin infections occur? fied. Consultation with the local public health using a towel only once when you clean the • MRSA skin infections can occur anywhere. authorities should be used to guide this decision. area. It is also important to shower rather than • Some settings have factors that make it easier Remember that staphylococcus (staph) bacteria, bathe during the healing process. for MRSA to be transmitted. These factors, including MRSA, have been and remain a comHands should be thoroughly washed with referred to as the 5 C’s, are as follows: mon cause of skin infections. warm water and soap after being exposed to a Crowding, frequently skin-to-skin Should the school be notified that my child staph infection or touching an open wound or Contact has an MRSA infection? the pus it produces. Pus that oozes onto the skin Compromised skin (i.e., cuts or abrasions) Consult with your school about its policy for from the site of an infection should be removed Contaminated items and surfaces notification of skin infections. immediately. This affected area should then be Cleanliness—the lack thereof Should students with MRSA skin infections cleansed with antiseptic or with antibacterial soap. Locations where the 5 C’s are common be excluded from attending school? Unless directed by a physician, students Children should frequently be reminded not include schools, dormitories, military barracks, households, gyms and locker rooms, correc- with MRSA infections should not be excluded to share: from attending school. Exclusion from school • brushes, combs, or hair accessories tional facilities, and daycare centers. How do I protect myself from getting and sports activities should be reserved for • caps those with wound drainage (“pus”) that cannot • clothing MRSA? be covered and contained with a clean, dry ban- • sleeping bags You can protect yourself by: • Practicing good hygiene (e.g., keeping your dage and for those who cannot maintain good • sports equipment personal hygiene. • other personal items hands clean by washing with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand I have an MRSA skin infection. How do I A diet rich in green, yellow, and orange prevent spreading it to others? sanitizer and showering immediately vegetables can bolster natural immunity. A • Cover your wound. Keep wounds that are doctor or nutritionist may recommend vitamins after participating in exercise); draining or have pus covered with clean, dry or mineral supplements to compensate for spe• Covering skin trauma such as abrasions or cuts bandages until healed. Follow your health- cific dietary deficiencies. Drinking eight to ten care provider's instructions on proper care glasses of water a day can also help flush disof the wound. Pus from infected wounds can ease-causing organisms from the body. Subscriptions available for out of area residents at $18.00 annually. Send payment with mailing address to: The Ogden Valley news P O BOX 130, EDEN UT 84310 Golden Spike Realty (801)479-3999 Washington Terrace Office 5315 S. Adams Ave. Parkway Ste A Incredible view of Wolf Mountain! Beautiful 1.16 acre corner walk-out lot. Bring your own builder and enjoy the peaceful mountain surroundings. Just minutes from Pineview, Powder Mountain, and Snow Basin. Price just reduced to $205,000. Call Sherry 781-0161.