Hospitals And MRSA Staph Infections - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

10/24/2007-East Texas

Hospitals And MRSA Staph Infections

We've talked a lot the last few days about the very serious form of staph infection called MRSA. It's showing up at schools all over the country, including one in East Texas. But what about hospitals?

Dr. Jathan Cantu, a local family practicioner, said MRSA has been around since the 60's and it's not uncommon.

"Ten years ago, to have a culture proven MRSA would be maybe zero to once a year. Now I have had two just in the past three months," Dr. Cantu said.

So how many people have East Texas hospitals seen with MRSA?

All three major East Texas hospitals (ETMC, Trinity Mother Frances, and Good Shepherd) said they really haven't seen an increase. The numbers of affected MRSA patients this year are just about the same as they were last year.

"The large increase in this particular problem are in communities," said John Moore of Trinity Mother Frances. "The same thing the hospitals are doing to prevent  infections are things that need to be done out in the communities."

There are different ways of testing for MRSA. Each individual doctor differs. A common one is the lab culture.

All the hospitals also said they take special precautions for patients who have tested for MRSA.

"Simple isolation and using gloves and gowns," said Dr. Cantu.

There are some simple, but effective steps that will help you prevent the spread of the infection. They include...washing your hands thoroughly several times a day. Cover cuts and scrapes with a bandage and change them regularly. Don't share personal items such as towels or toothbrushes. Sanitize all gym equipment when working out. Doctors said flu shots also help. The flu lowers resistance to the deadly strand, MRSA. If you think you have staph, see your doctor and get tested. And make sure you finish all medication your doctor gives you, even if the sores are gone.

Danielle Capper, Reporting.


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