Methacillin Resistant Staph Aureus is a specific strain of the bacteria Staphylococcus Aureus that is resistant to the antibiotics created for its treatment. This makes it both very difficult to treat and impossible to eradicate. The infection has also been known to be deadly.

This organism is contracted and spread through an opening in the skin and can be transferred from an object that was recently touched by an individual who is infected.

There are also individuals who are carriers of the organism, that are without symptoms and unaware that they are even infected. Thereby, it is very important that we educate those at high risk of how to prevent the spread of this disease.

Athletes are a high risk group because of their close proximity in sporting events and their frequent injuries.

Q&A about Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in Schools

Signs and Symptoms of a possible MRSA infected wound

  • Redness and Swelling at the site
  • Red Streaking up the affected extremity
  • Purulent drainage
  • Enlargement of regional lymph nodes
  • Fever
  • Chills

If ANY of these symptoms are present, please refer your student to The Student Wellness Center, at ext. 8201 for immediate evaluation. Do not delay!

Recommendations to prevent contracting the infection

  • Frequent HAND WASHING – critical to removing it from your skin before it enters a wound
  • Cleanse all wounds with soap and water
  • Cover all open wounds – even rug burns, scrapes, and acne-like lesions and especially when participating in sports
  • Seek medical attention as soon as there is suspicion of infection

For more information, please go the Center for Disease Control website. Feel free to call me with any questions or concerns. We are all interested in the safety of our students!

Typical steps taken by GC to control and eradicate infection

  • Evaluate, culture and medicate affected patients.
  • Identify population targeted and educate them on proper hand-washing, covering wounds, not sharing soaps/razors/clothing, and seeking medical treatment when certain signs/symptoms develop.
  • Coordinate care with Infection Control at Georgetown Community Hospital and the Kentucky Department for Public Health.
  • Discuss options and recommendations with Microbiologist Nan Perry on how to further control the spread of the bacteria.
  • Discuss cleaning issues of common areas at Anderson Hall and Equipment/Locker Room of the football team with Maintenance and Housekeeping Supervisors. Evaluate chemicals used and their effectiveness, as well as, review specifics items to be cleansed on a daily basis.
  • Hire second off site cleaning crew to cleanse all common areas a second time a day and on weekends for two weeks.
  • Purchase and distribute (as appropriate) cans of disinfectant to appropriate areas. Educate students on what items to spray and sterilize.
  • Educate and reassure maintenance and housekeeping staff on the bacteria and ways to protect themselves.