MRSA

Skin & wound infections

MRSA

What is MRSA?

MRSA stands for Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus, a common skin bacteria that's resistant to a range of antibiotics. It lives on the skin of one in three people, and is often transferred on to other surfaces. About 1 in 100 carry MRSA, mainly elderly people who have been in hospital. It usually poses little risk to healthy people.

It spreads by:

  • Contact with the skin of an infected person or carrier or a contaminated surface. The risk of infection increases when people have a cut, wound or other skin damage. The elderly, very young or the unwell are most at risk, as their immune systems are weakened.

The symptoms are:

  • Boils

  • Sores or itchy blisters

  • If it gets into the blood stream, MRSA can cause blood poisoning and serious illness

How to avoid MRSA:

  • Hand-washing is the single most important step in preventing the spread of MRSA, especially after contact with an infected person or carrier.

  • Cover cuts and grazes with a dressing using antiseptic.

  • Don't share towels, facecloths or toothbrushes with an infected person. Keep their clothing, sheets, pillows and linens separate from the rest of the family laundry and wash it at 60ºC using a fabric detergent that contains bleach.

  • Disinfect cleaning cloths by soaking in a solution of Domestos Extended Germ-Kill after each use, especially after use in the immediate area of the patient or their bathroom.

How to air your mattress

Vacuum both sides about once a month and leave it to air for a few minutes between changing the sheets. Ideally open a window to let some fresh air in.

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