USA Today reports that a private Washington school is one of the latest schools to to be hit by MRSA infections, which are most commonly thought of as affecting elderly hospital patients. Two of the high school football team's players have skin infections caused by MRSA, (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus). The outbreak illustrates just how vulnerable young athletes can be to MRSA, which is both difficult to treat and highly contagious.
The report says “ It’s not unusual to see outbreaks of skin infections. Prince William County, Va., public school system reported a confirmed case in January, March and May of this year. “Unfortunately, it has gotten to the point where it has gotten more and more common,” says
CDC says 2% of people carry MRSA, although most of them aren’t infected. A much higher percentage of Americans — about 30% — carry staph, but not all are resistant to antibiotics. Among staph cultures from outpatient settings, 51% were resistant to Methicillin nationally, and the number was higher in some regions.
These latest reports stress that anyone playing sports or exercising should be sure to clean mats or equipment as MRSA discharge on a surface or clothing can infect another person. While "skin is a good barrier," people may not realize that even a small open skin wound (such as those occuring with contact sports) can make them susceptible to infection. Effective laundering of sports clothing is also key to prevent onward transmission e.g to family members.
The USA Today report can be found at: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2015/09/01/mrsa-superbug-back–school-risks-st-albans/71489354/
Advice on laundering of sports clothing can be found at: Clothing, household linens, laundry and hygiene. http://www.ifh-homehygiene.org/factsheet/clothing-household-linens-laundry-and-home-hygiene