MRSA Investigated in Kanawha County

Special to HuntingtonNews.Net

The Kanawha-Charleston Health Department (KCHD) Epidemiology Division is currently investigating a Charleston daycare after confirmation of Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) associated Skin and Soft Tissue Infection (SSTI) in an infant and report of skin infection in another infant attending the facility.

At this time, we do not have any evidence to suggest a MRSA outbreak at this daycare. KCHD is working closely with the daycare, recommending appropriate infection control measures. The daycare center voluntarily closed their Infant Room on February 8, 2011 for environmental cleaning purposes.

Staphylococcus aureus, also known as staph, is a bacterium that lives on the skin or in the nose of healthy people. Occasionally, staph can cause infections of the skin, bloodstream, lungs, bones, joints, heart, and other body parts. MRSA is a type of staph bacteria that has become resistant to some common antibiotics, which makes a MRSA infection more difficult to treat. MRSA is common in the community; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that about 29% of the population carries the Staphylococcus aureus bacteria without experiencing any symptoms. Individual cases of MRSA are not reportable to the health department; however, any suspected outbreaks must be reported immediately.

Tips for Preventing the Spread of MRSA

Keep your hands clean by washing thoroughly with soap and water.

Alcohol-based hand cleansers also help.

Keep cuts and wounds clean and covered with a dressing until healed. Avoid contact with other peoples’ wounds.

Avoid sharing towels, clothing, sports equipment, deodorant, cosmetics and other personal items.

Only take antibiotics if you really need them. Antibiotics do not work for a cold, the flu or other viral infections. When a doctor prescribes antibiotics, take them as directed.