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How to Prevent MRSA Staph Infections (Superbug) in Children

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Earlier this week doctors and researchers announced new type of Staph bacteria that is resistant to all 18 antibiotics approved by the government. Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA (methicillin-resistant staph aureus), was thought previously to only be spread in hospital settings, but is now being transmitted throughout entire communities. Doctors report these hard to kill bugs are growing at frighteningly high rates, although they are not specifically tracked.

Invasive Staph bacteria enter the bloodstream, causing organ damage, pneumonia and septic shock. The lastest Superbug has also been found in connection with children's ear infections. The bug causing the ear infections is Streptococcus pneunomiae, for which there is no vaccine. This bug also causes pneumonia in elderly.

Staph or MRSA infections not contracted in a hospital setting usually cause skin infections, which appear to be pimples and boils in otherwise healthy kids.

Doctors in New York, Alaska, and Massachusetts have identified the same super resistant drug as being the cause of ear infections, which do not respond to even the most potent antibiotics. Doctors have even tried to treat kids with antibiotics that are not approved for use in children.

Staph is a common bug that can live in people's noses, on shower benches or bed rails. Once a child contracts it, the germ spreads quickly to other family members. Experts believe that over time, liberal use of antibiotics in people and animals has caused the bug to become resistant to antibiotics.

An estimated 90,000 people in American are infected annually with some type of staph infection, and study published October 17, 2007 in the Journal of the American Medical Association estimated MRSA kills approximately 18,000 Americans a year, which is more than die of AIDS. However, cases of MRSA are not reported to public-health authorities.

Keeping Superbugs Away

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends these precautions to take against superbugs:

  • Take antibiotics only when absolutely necessary
  • Take the full course of prescribed antibiotics.
  • Wash hands several times daily with soap and water or alcohol wipes.
  • Never share personal items, such as towels or razors.
  • Keep cuts and scrapes covered.
  • Avoid contact with other people's wounds or bandages.
  • See your doctor for an infected wound or boil.
  • Carefully follow advice on how to care for wounds.
  • Dry sheets, towels and clothes in a hot dryer (don't air dry) to kill bacteria.

To read the JAMA study, go to http://www.jama.ama-assn.org/

Related Reading:

- Can garlic help?

- Are we clean enough?

Comments

amithak50 from India on May 08, 2012:

Great tips ..Thanks a lot

Wendy on February 26, 2009:

My daugter was diagnosed today for this. I'm scared she had a swallen gland on her neck and they thought it was cancer. She has no boils or bites anywhere? Any e-mails to help me understand this bug better would help!!

MRSA on April 30, 2008:

MRSA Superbug is a very scary disease that scares me. Lela thanks for writing such a great hub to inform people about this.

morely on December 14, 2007:

wow i even could not sleep last night cause that thought now that i tell everyone they scared too but however if learn more about it you can improve your daily life.

robindarleen on November 09, 2007:

my oldest daughter and my third daughter had the mrsa.they signs were puss like sores. But my youngest kelsey had mrsa but she never devloped any sores.but she was hospitized with breathing troubles from the mrsa.thanks for the info you posted.

your fan,robin

DeliverTheWord on October 25, 2007:

Thanks for the heads up.

Earth Angel on October 23, 2007:

GREAT Hub Lela!! Thank you for the detailed information!! This is very serious stuff and everyone should be made aware of it!! I know of a few people, who have none of the risk factors, no time in the hospital, no children, no travel, do not work outside the home, never sick, strong immune systems, that became infected!! It was traced back to a very upscale gym!! Thanks again!! Blessings, Earth Angel!!

Stephanie on October 19, 2007:

wow, this is seriousd

Cory Zacharia from Miami Beach, Florida on October 18, 2007:

Very valuable information!

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