Protecting Your Family Against Staph Infections - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

10/23/07- East Texas

Protecting Your Family Against Staph Infections

There are some simple, yet important steps everyone should take to avoid getting a staph infection. Here is what you can do to protect your family against a disease that can strike and kill in a matter of days.

As with avoiding any sickness, washing your hands with warm water and soap, several times a day, is the best way to fight against staph infections.

Keep any cut or wound clean and covered with a bandage. Pus from infected sores can contain M.R.S.A., so it's also important to wash your hands after changing bandages.

Since staph is spread through contact, do not share personal items such as clothes, razors, or towels. Doctors recommend taking extreme caution in gyms and locker rooms, and make sure you sanitize all gym equipment.

"That's where we get into crowding, sharing clothes, towels especially," said Dr. Richard Wallace, Chief of Infectious Disease at U.T. Health Center.  "If somebody has a wound and they have a bandage and you sit down on that bandage, then you've got a whole, heavy bunch of staph on your skin and you're at risk for picking it up."

Flu shots are very important. The Flu lowers resistance to M.R.S.A., allowing it to spread more rapidly. October and November are the best months to get a flu shot.

Finally, if you think you have a staph infection, see your doctor and get tested.

"When you come in with an abscess we automatically put you on an antibiotic, a pill, that covers M-R-S-A," said Dr. Wallace.  "If we grow the germ in the lab and discover it's not M.R.S.A then we can change it."

If you are prescribed medicine, it is important that you take all of it, even if your skin heals. That will help kill all the bacteria to ensure the disease does not pop-up or spread again in the future.

Courtney Lane, Reporting.  clane@kltv.com  

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