MRSA Breaks Free From Hospitals: Find it in Your Community

On December 16, 2013, USA Today published this video and article outlining the obvious rise in community-acquired MRSA.

As you can tell from the video, MRSA is dangerous, and if not treated right away, can be fatal. It is especially fatal to those with weakened immune systems like the elderly and children. The focus of the article is the ongoing threat of MRSA and how it is shifting away from hospitals and into communities. Historically, MRSA was most commonly acquired from hospitals where people are prone to infections after surgeries or operations. Over the past decade, hospitals have put effort into reducing the chances of a MRSA infection and studies show that it has paid off. The latest statistics conclude that MRSA infections acquired in hospitals are significantly down. In the same study, the CDC (Center for Disease Control) has also stated their own concerns over the number of community-acquired MRSA cases.

MRSA begins by creeping its way into the body through open wounds. Even the smallest scratch can be an entry point for this dangerous infection. Community-acquired MRSA is responsible for over half of all skin infections that require hospitalization. Looking at this photo, it is not hard to see why. Even scarier, MRSA infections in children are becoming far to common. Here’s a statement from the USA Today article,

Photo: Gregory Moran via
Photo: Gregory Moran via

MRSA cases in children continue to rise, jumping 10% a year among youths ages 3 months to 17 years. A much larger share of the infections hitting children have been linked to community strains that can pass from kid to kid by, say, brushing against a victim at school or handling a contaminated object, such as a locker room towel.

Places like gyms, locker rooms, community restrooms, wrestling mats, gymnastics equipment, artificial turf, day cares and playgrounds tend to be just a few of the MRSA spreading culprits. Contracting MRSA is simple, and the bacteria that causes it easily lies on surfaces we are apt to touch on a daily basis. Anywhere you find crowding, skin-to-skin contact, cleanliness issues, compromised skin (turf burns, mat burns, small scrapes), and/or contaminated surface can lead to a MRSA outbreak. The CDC calls this list the five C’s. It should be noted that it only takes one of these to spread MRSA and places like schools, retirement homes and prisons often include all five. Perhaps Robert Daum, an infectious disease physician and founder of the University of Chicago’s MRSA Research Center said it best when he was quoted in the USA Today article,

With all due respect to our public health authorities, they made the transition in their minds very slowly that the epidemiology of MRSA had shifted. … So we are left with a community problem that has been largely unaddressed.

We couldn’t agree more. UVC Services is entirely focused on the prevention of community-acquired MRSA. We believe that through education, schools, government officials and business owners will understand the need to address MRSA before it addresses you. Email or call to discuss preventing a MRSA outbreak in your community.