MRSA Prevention and Treatment
-ZHION.COM updated on July 17, 2011
It is estimated that
Americans of all ages visit
the doctor more than 12
million times per year for
skin infections that are
typical of staph, more than
half of which are MRSA. The
good news is that a few
simple steps can help
parents protect their
Discuss with your doctor before taking any alternative medicine. This article is for
reference only, it is not a medical advice. All rights reserved. Do not copy this article to
other website or blog.
What is MRSA?
MRSA is methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, a potentially dangerous type of
staph bacteria that is resistant to certain antibiotics and may cause skin and other
infections. These antibiotics include methicillin and other more common antibiotics such
as oxacillin, penicillin and amoxicillin. Staph infections, including MRSA, occur most
frequently among persons in hospitals and healthcare facilities (such as nursing homes
and dialysis centers) who have weakened immune systems. As with regular staph
infections, recognizing the signs and receiving treatment for MRSA skin infections in the
early stages reduces the chances of the infection becoming severe. MRSA is spread by:

[1] Having direct contact with another person’s infection
[2] Sharing personal items, such as towels or razors, that have touched infected skin
Touching surfaces or items, such as used bandages, contaminated with MRSA.

Tea and Coffee
One interesting research finding - People who drink hot tea or coffee are less likely to
carry MRSA in their nose. Previous studies have shown that tea and coffee have
antimicrobial properties when applied topically. Coffee ingredients such as trigonelline,
glyoxal, methylglyoxal, and diacetyl have antimicrobial activities while tea ingredients
such as tannic acid and catechins have the activities. In addition, consumption of both
coffee and tea decrease iron absorption, which may prove important because iron is
critical for the growth of S. aureus. [Annals of Family Medicine, July/August 2011]

Signs and Symptoms of Infections
Most staph skin infections, including MRSA, appear as a bump or infected area on the
skin that may be red, swollen, painful, warm to the touch, full of pus or other drainage and
accompanied by a fever.

If staph and MRSA gets onto a surface, will I get an infection?
Even if surfaces have staph and MRSA on them, this does not mean that you will
definitely get an infection if you touch these surfaces. Staph and MRSA are most likely to
cause problems when you have a cut or scrape that is not covered. That’s why it’s
important to cover your cuts and open wounds with bandages. MRSA can also get into
small openings in the skin, like the openings at hair follicles. The best defense is good
hygiene. Keep your hands clean, use a barrier like clothing or towels between you and
any surfaces you share with others (like gym equipment), and shower immediately after
activities that involve direct skin contact with others. These are easy ways to decrease
your risk of getting a staph or MRSA infection.

How long does staph and MRSA survive on surfaces?
As with other germs, staph and MRSA can survive on some surfaces for hours, days or
even months, but it all depends on factors like temperature, humidity, the amount of
germs present, and the type of surface (is it porous like a sponge or nonporous like
plastic?). It also depends on whether these surfaces have nutrients to allow it to survive
longer. When surfaces aren’t cleaned and conditions are good for bacterial growth, staph
and MRSA is more likely to survive for longer periods.

What can I do to keep surfaces free from staph and MRSA?
Cover your infections. Covering infections with bandages or dressings is the best way to
keep surfaces from becoming contaminated with staph and MRSA.

Clean your hands often. Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-
based hand rub when a sink is not available. Always clean your hands after changing
bandages or touching infected skin.

Keep the environment clean. Regularly clean frequently touched surfaces and other items
that come into direct contact with infected skin.

In gyms, locker rooms, and other places where many people come and go, repair or
throw out equipment and furniture with damaged surfaces cannot be thoroughly cleaned.

What surfaces should be the focus of my cleaning efforts?
Focus on surfaces that touch people’s bare skin each day and any surfaces that could
come into contact with uncovered infections. For example, surfaces such as benches in
the weight room or locker room.

Large surfaces such as floors and walls have not been directly involved in the spread of
staph and MRSA. There is no evidence that spraying or fogging rooms or surfaces with
disinfectants will prevent staph and MRSA infections more effectively than the targeted
approach of cleaning frequently touched surfaces and any surfaces that have been
exposed to infections.

MRSA and Vancomycin
Henry Chambers of the University of California said "The best available treatment for
MRSA, vancomycin, is more expensive than other antibiotics and takes a long time to
conquer the infection." [1]

[1] MRSA 'superbug' found in ocean, public beaches Steve Sternberg, USA TODAY
September 13, 2009
Where do you find MRSA?
Marilyn Roberts, University of Washington, identified methicillin-resistant Staph aureus
(MRSA) in marine water and beach sand from seven public beaches. - public beaches
may be a reservoir for possible transmission of MRSA. [1]