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Teen Health 411

Staph Infections Increasingly Resistant to Drugs

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In November of 2007 I reported an increase in Staph Infections in Schools, and apparently, it is still a problem. According to a recent study by Dr. Sobol at Emory University, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infections, known as MRSA are increasing at an alarming rate, as are the proportion of ear, nose, and throat infections resistant to standard drug treatment.

The study analyzed 21,009 head and neck staph infections in children between January 2001 and December 2006. The average age of the patient was 6.7 years old.

CDC suggests the factors that have been associated with the spread of MRSA skin infections include: close skin-to-skin contact, openings in the skin such as cuts or abrasions, contaminated items and surfaces, crowded living conditions, and poor hygiene.

To prevent MRSA, practice good hygiene:
  • Keep your hands clean by washing thoroughly with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Keep cuts and scrapes clean and covered with a bandage until healed.
  • Avoid contact with other people‚Äôs wounds or bandages.
  • Avoid sharing personal items such as towels or razors.
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About the Author

Dr. Brown is a developmental psychologist specializing in adolescent health.

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