The Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. warned yesterday against infections caused by bacteria that is resistant to many of the antibiotics used to treat ordinary infections.
A CHCC statement warns against what is called methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA—an infection caused by a type of staphylococcus bacteria that becomes resistant to many of the antibiotics used to treat ordinary infections caused by other strains of the same type of bacteria.
The statement noted that there are two types of MRSA infections: healthcare-associated MRSA and community-associated MRSA.
Healthcare-associated MRSA occurs in people who have been in hospitals or other healthcare settings, including dialysis centers. “[Healthcare-associated MRSA] usually occur after surgeries or other medical procedures,” the statement said.
The community-associated MRSA is a type of MRSA infection that occurs in the wider community—among healthy people. This type of MRSA infection often begins as a painful skin boil and is spread by skin-to-skin contact.
“People who are at-risk include those who live with or come into close contact with those who have MRSA infections, athletes, childcare workers, and people who live in crowded conditions,” the statement said.
Community-associated MRSA is easily spread through cuts, open sores, and skin-to-skin contact; living in crowded or unsanitary conditions; sexual intercourse; and using intravenous drugs.
“MRSA infections can resist many common antibiotics, so they are more difficult to treat. This can allow the infection to spread and sometimes become life-threatening,” the statement noted, adding that the infection may spread to an individual’s blood, lungs, heart, bones, and joints.
In order to prevent community-associated MRSA, CHCC recommends washing hands briskly for at least 15 seconds or carrying a bottle of hand sanitizer with at least 62 percent alcohol if there is no access to soap and water; keeping cuts and wounds clean and covered with sterile, dry bandages until healed; keeping personal items personal such as towels, sheets, razors, clothing, and athletic equipment; showering immediately after athletics using soap and water; sanitizing linens; and preventing intravenous illicit drugs.