Questions and Answers Regarding MRSA

What is MRSA?

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a bacteria that is resistant to many antibiotics. In the community, most MRSA infections are skin infections.

What are the symptoms of MRSA?

Many times individuals think they have been bitten by a spider or insect. However, unless a spider is actually seen, the irritation is not likely a spider bite. Most staph skin infections, including MRSA, appear as a bump or infected area on the skin that might be:

  • Red
  • Swollen
  • Painful
  • Warm to the touch
  • Full of pus or other drainage
  • Accompanied by a fever

If you have any of these symptoms, please contact the student health center through MyHealthSpace for an appointment with your primary care provider: https://www.sa.sc.edu/shs/mhsonline/ or call: 803-777-3175.

How is MRSA treated?

Treatment for MRSA skin infections may include having a healthcare professional drain the infection and perhaps prescribing a special antibiotic. Do not attempt to drain the infection yourself – doing so could worsen or spread it to others. If you are given an antibiotic, be sure to take all of the doses (even if the infection is getting better), unless your doctor tells you to stop taking it. The wound should remain covered until it has healed.

How common is MRSA?

Studies show that about one in three people carry staph in their nose, usually without any illness. Two in 100 people carry MRSA. On college campuses the most common source for acquiring MRSA is likely related to hygiene habits.

Can I prevent getting MRSA?

The best way to prevent MRSA is to practice good personal hygiene.

  • Maintain good hand and body hygiene. Wash hands often, and clean body regularly, especially after exercise. Use hand sanitizer often. However hand sanitizer should not replace good hand washing.
  • Keep cuts, scrapes, and wounds clean and covered until healed.
  • Do not share personal items such as towels, tweezers and razors.
  • Get care early if you think you might have an infection.

For More Information About MRSA Please Visit the CDC Website

Overview of MRSA
http://www.cdc.gov/mrsa/

MRSA Information for Coaches, Athletic Directors and Team Healthcare Providers
http://www.cdc.gov/mrsa/community/team-hc-providers/index.html

Prevention Information and Advice for Athletes
http://www.cdc.gov/mrsa/community/team-hc-providers/advice-for-athletes.html

 

University of South Carolina
Student Health Services
803-777-3175

Improving Student Success Through Healthy Living

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