Stopping the Superbug: MRSA
The spread of superbugs
You might have seen or heard about “superbugs” in the news lately. These strains of bacteria are resistant to antibiotics, making it difficult to treat them.1 Hospitals and other medical facilities are typically associated with superbugs, but increasingly they are spreading to public settings like gyms, locker rooms, households and schools.2 In this article you’ll learn more about the MRSA superbug and how to help stop it from spreading in your home.
What is MRSA?
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, is one common superbug that can be potentially deadly. According to the CDC, two in 100 people carry MRSA3 and more than 90,000 Americans get potentially deadly MRSA infections every year4. Caused by a strain of staph bacteria and often found on the skin and in the nose, MRSA is easily spread by skin-to-skin contact or touching contaminated items or surfaces. People can carry MRSA and not have symptoms, but still transmit the bacteria to others5. MRSA can cause skin infections such as pimples, rashes, abscesses, boils or what can look like a spider bite. These infections are usually warm, painful, red and swollen.6
Preventing the spread of MRSA
With MRSA becoming more common and harder to treat, hospitals and schools are developing rigorous prevention protocols. You might be surprised to learn that many hospitals and schools rely on Clorox® Disinfecting Bleach products to help stop the spread of MRSA. The Clorox Company is committed to helping prevent the spread of MRSA. As part of this commitment, Clorox supports the STOP MRSA Now coalition to educate community members about the importance of understanding more about MRSA and how they can help prevent the spread of MRSA in their community.
Reducing the spread at home with Clorox
- As a pediatrician, I tell parents that MRSA prevention should continue at home too. MRSA bacteria can remain on surfaces after someone touches them, making it possible for someone else to pick them up. It is not well understood how long MRSA can survive on surfaces, but MRSA can probably live for many days on most objects. That’s why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends disinfecting surfaces which are likely to come in contact with skin with an EPA-registered disinfectant, like Clorox® Regular-Bleach29.
- Scrub up — Wash your hands frequently with soap and warm water for at least 15 seconds — the time it takes to sing Happy Birthday twice — or use an alcohol-based hand rub sanitizer.
- Wipe it down — Use a disinfecting bleach solution to wipe down and disinfect hard surfaces. Make sure to use clean cloths to avoid spreading MRSA from one surface to another. (½) cup of disinfecting bleach diluted in 1 gallon of water)
- Cover your cuts — Keep any nicks or wounds covered with a clean, dry bandage until healed.
- Keep to yourself — Do not share personal items, such as towels or razors, that come into contact with bare skin.
- Use a barrier — Keep a towel or piece of clothing between skin and shared equipment.10
To help reduce the spread of MRSA at home, you can use these practical steps:
To learn more about preventing the spread of MRSA, and to download the STOP MRSA Now Playbook, visit www.stopmrsanow.org.