IMAGE SOURCE: Wikimedia Commons/ 13-year-old nose/ Author: Andrew Levine
Methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is the form of staph bacterial infection that is resistant to treatment with some antibiotics and increasingly is being found outside of hospital settings.
Athletes, gyms, wrestlers, and prisoners all have been known to contract the form of staph which previously was found primarily in a hospital or health care setting.
IB News covered the stories of two football players who died in October, one in Philadelphia, one in Orlando.
The question was outside of hospitals - how was it being spread?
A new study attempts to answer that question. Removing drug-resistant staph from the noses of wrestling-camp counselors cut the rate of potentially deadly skin infections by more than 50 percent.
One-quarter of the wrestlers in a Minneapolis wrestling camp were infected with MRSA in 2006.
The following year, researchers tested coaches' and counselors' noses for MRSA and found about half were carriers. The nose is a place for the bacteria to colonize since it prefers a wet and warm environment.
Once researchers from the University of Minnesota removed the contaminant, infections dropped.
“When we found the rate was that high among the counselors, that was amazing to me,'' said researcher Bruce Anderson to Bloomberg.
The CDC says that MRSA infected more than 94,000 people in 2005 and killed more than 18,000.
Removing bacteria from carriers in other situations involving close quarters may help slow the spread of the disease throughout the community, the researchers said.
The most effective medication to do that so far has been a topical antibiotic, mupirocin and chlorhexadene for five days.
Anderson reported his findings today at the Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, meeting in Washington.
About 14 percent of MRSA infections involve people who acquired the disease outside a health-care system.
In September, the CDC launched the National MRSA Education Initiative, aimed a specific actions parents can take to protect themselves and their children from the bacteria. #