We can’t let our guard down

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a type of staph bacteria that is resistant to beta-lactam antibiotics. People can get MRSA infections from the community or in healthcare facilities. But patients in healthcare facilities are susceptible to MRSA because they often undergo surgery or other procedures that make it easier for MRSA to get into the body.

Recent reports have shown that MRSA infections associated with hospitalizations are declining – and that’s a good thing. But there have been smaller declines among MRSA infections that are acquired in the community, in places like schools and sports teams. And reports also suggest that MRSA infections are on the rise among children. This is why healthcare professionals must follow infection prevention guidelines to prevent patients from getting MRSA.

 

What you can do:

  • Wash your hands after touching blood, body fluids, secretions, excretions, and contaminated items, whether or not gloves are worn. You may also need to perform hand hygiene between tasks and procedures on the same patient to prevent cross-contamination of different body sites.
  • Wear gloves, a gown, and mouth/nose/eye protection when you will come in contact with blood or other potentially infectious materials, mucous membranes, nonintact skin, or potentially contaminated intact skin (e.g., of a patient incontinent of stool or urine). Learn more about glove use.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces, especially high-touch areas such as bed rails, patient tables, door handles, etc.
  • Follow other precautions to prevent the spread of MRSA.

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