What is MRSA and how is it spread?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), most MRSA, or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, infections acquired in the community are skin infections that may appear as pustules or boils that are often red, swollen and painful, or have pus or other drainage. These skin infections commonly occur where there are cuts or abrasions, and on areas of the body covered by hair.
Although serious MRSA disease is still predominantly related to exposures in hospital or health care settings, infections outside health care settings are increasing.
MRSA is usually transmitted by direct skin-to-skin contact or contact with shared items or surfaces that have come into contact with someone else’s infection (e.g., dirty towels, used bandages). Therefore, practicing both good personal hygiene and disinfection of items and surfaces are important in prevention of the spread of MRSA.
Hygiene in the School Environment
Environmental Disinfection in Schools
To help reduce the transmission of MRSA from uncovered or poorly covered skin infections, CDC recommends cleaning and disinfecting surfaces that are likely to come in contact with skin. It recommends the use of detergent-based cleaners or Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered disinfectants. Always read and follow precautions and usage directions before using cleaning products. Store cleaning products out of the reach of children.
Always remember, it is important to read and follow the label instructions on all cleaners to make sure they are used safely and appropriately. Environmental cleaners and disinfectants should not be used to treat infections. The EPA provides a list of EPA-registered products effective against MRSA.
For more information about bleach visit factsaboutbleach.com/mrsa.html.
CDC, “Questions and Answers about Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in Schools”, http://www.cdc.gov/Features/
Kleven RM et al, 2007 Invasive Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Infections in the United States. JAMA 298(15):1763-1771