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Athletes Often Exposed to Dangerous Infections|
CLEBURNE, Texas — With spring sports getting into full swing, players, coaches and parents can help prevent sport-related skin infections by taking simple preventive measures.
The bacteria can be found in public areas where many people gather, such as gyms, locker rooms and showers. It may also be found on shared sports equipment and clothing.
More than a third of the U.S. population carries the Methicillin Resistant Staph Aureus (MRSA) or staphylococcus aureus (staph) infections, but experience no symptoms, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The national average for nosocomial, or healthcare acquired, infection is 5.5 percent of all hospital admissions. Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Cleburne’s rate is well below the national average at 0.09 percent.
Both infections may be resistant to antibiotics, which makes the infections harder to treat in those who experience symptoms.
According to the CDC, symptoms may include a bump or infected area on the skin that is red, swollen, warm, painful, or accompanied by a fever. A draining wound or one that is full of pus is another indication.
“Student athletes can be particularly vulnerable for these types of infections, but simple, common sense steps can lower the risk of exposure,” said Brad Harman, M.D. at Texas Health Cleburne. “Parents can play a key role in preventing these infections by reminding their children to bring home clothes to be washed and that sharing towels or other personal items increases their risk of exposure.”
The CDC recommends individuals use good hand hygiene techniques to reduce their chances of a MRSA skin infection. Those techniques are based on simple steps, such as:
Individuals who have a wound associated with MRSA or a staph aureus infection should keep the wound covered and should not share personal items to prevent the spread of the infection.
Individuals who have had or have a wound associated with MRSA or staph aureus infection should inform their physician before any surgery or hospitalization.
For more information, visit cdc.gov.
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