A third Tampa Bay Buccaneers player has been diagnosed with the contagious bacteria known as MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), according to ESPN. MRSA can be difficult to treat because it is resistant to many antibiotics.The team brought in an infectious disease specialist to address the problem.
MRSA in the community
MRSA can cause pneumonia, bloodstream infections, and infect surgical incisions but in the community the most common problem is a skin infection. People can get infected when they come into direct contact with items that have touched infected skin. It is commonly seen in places where there is a lot of skin-to-skin contact and where equipment is shared. Athletes, school students, day care children, military personnel, and anyone who received inpatient medical care are especially at risk.
It is estimated that two in 100 people carry MRSA, according to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). The best way to avoid getting MRSA is to wash your hands, keep wounds clean and covered, and to not share personal items such as razors, towels and clothing.
Athletes should shower immediately after participation and wash and dry their uniforms after each use. When it comes to using disinfectants, any disinfectant that says it is effective against Staphylococcus aureus or staph will work against MRSA. If the label on the cleaner says Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered disinfectant, then it will remove MRSA from the surface being cleaned. If you know clothing has been contaminated with MRSA, it is recommended to wash it separately; however it is not absolutely necessary.
What does it look like?
MRSA infection of the skin usually begins as a bump that people often mistake for a spider bite. It will become red, painful, swollen, warm to the touch, and may have pus drainage. It is often accompanied by a fever.
If you think you are infected, contact your doctor immediately. Do not forget that the drainage is highly contagious.