While the world is focused on COVID-19 presently, it certainly isn’t the only threat to our health. Staphylococcus aureus infections, commonly known at staph infections, cause the death of as many as 20,000 Americans each year. Methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is perhaps the deadliest type of Staphylococcus aureus infection, and understanding some basic MRSA facts can help prevent many deaths from occurring.
Types of Staph Infections
In addition to MRSA, there is another type of Staphylococcus aureus infection known as methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA). Both types can be deadly, but MRSA, as its full name suggests is an infection that is resistant to some antibiotics. MSSA has a far lower mortality rate than MRSA, but it still can be very harmful to our bodies.
Staph bacteria are found on our skin and in our nose quite often, and most of the time, they cause no problems or very mild problems, such as a small skin infection. However, if the bacteria enter the bloodstream, it can begin to damage your body very quickly, including your organs, joints and bones, especially if you have underlying health conditions.
People can acquire MRSA infections in many ways. In general, it’s passed via skin to skin contact or when you come into contact without something that is contaminated. You might eat food tainted with MRSA or perhaps come into contact with MRSA at a gym locker room or while playing contact sports. Staph bacteria often are found in hospitals and it’s not uncommon for infections to be spread via catheters, feeding tubes and dialysis tubes.
How To Prevent MRSA
Washing your hands is one of the best ways to prevent MRSA, along with most types of infections and viruses. If you go to a gym, shower as quickly as possible after exercise. Wash your clothing, such as medical uniforms, workout clothing or uniforms after each use.
If you have a cut, be sure to cover it with a secure bandage, especially when you come into contact with others in high-risk areas such as during contact sports or if you work or visit a hospital. If you have a skin infection, call your doctor right away, and get treatment. Your doctor can test the area to see if MRSA or other bacteria are present.
MRSA is resistant to antibiotics such as amoxicillin and penicillin, but other types of antibiotics can be used to treat MRSA, especially in its early stages, so be sure to contact your doctor if you have a boil or an infected cut. If the cut is red or feels warm or you have a fever, these are clear signs of infection, and it’s smart to get treatment as quickly as possible.
If you are diagnosed with MRSA, you also should take some precautions. Stay away from anyone you know that has a compromised immune system. Wash your clothes, towels and sheets often and don’t share blankets, washcloths, towels, etc. with family members while you are infected. Skip the gym and don’t take part in contact sports or karate classes, etc. By simply touching a mat or piece of equipment or another athlete, you could be spreading a dangerous infection.
MRSA Has A Long Lifespan
When it comes to MRSA facts, one of the most important we can share is in regards to how long MRSA can live on surfaces. While many bacteria and viruses cannot live more than a few hours or days on a surface, MRSA can live to weeks or months on some surfaces, which is why biohazard clean-up is essential if your home or business has been infected with MRSA.
For instance, MRSA can live in dust for as long as six months or more. Think about all the places in your home, office or business where dust is not removed regularly. The MRSA bacteria can be living there for months at a time.
MRSA can live on surfaces longer than many viruses. In fact, it can live for days or weeks on surfaces such as doorknobs or light switches. This means that every time someone touches an infected surface, they could be transferring MRSA from one surface to door handles, tables, walls and anywhere else in the building or home. It even can live on a mop head for up to eight weeks.
While you can launder towels, blankets, sheets and clothing, the MRSA bacteria can be all over many surfaces. In order to kill MRSA, you must use EPA-approved cleaners and disinfectants, only those proven to kill MRSA.
Why You Need Professional Biohazard Clean Up
While you can purchase approved cleaners for MRSA, it’s not just about the type of cleaners, it’s really about the level of cleaning. Your custodial staff truly is not the best defense against MRSA or any other highly infectious contaminant.
Not only do they likely not have proper PPE (personal protective equipment), they have not been trained in biohazard remediation. For instance, you can’t simply spray a surface and wipe up the cleaner. Many surfaces need to be cleaned first and then disinfectant has to be applied. The disinfectant also might need to remain on the surface for a set amount of time in order to fully remediate MRSA.
We are an OSHA-compliant biohazard restoration company. Every member of our team has been trained (and continues to update their training) to remove all types of hazardous and infectious agents. Each type of bacteria and virus is unique, and what works with one infectious agent might not work with another. This is a huge reason to hire professionals when you have a serious contamination problem, such as MRSA.
Additionally, your cleaning crew would not be able to fully remediate a facility as quickly as the team at Austin Bio Clean. We also will remediate every surface, and this includes hard-to-reach areas and areas commonly passed over by a cleaning crew. If you have a gym, for instance, every piece of equipment, every mat, every mirror and every surface, must be decontaminated.
Not only would a regular cleaning crew not be able to provide this level of remediation, but you would also be putting your crew at risk of contracting MRSA. Our biohazard clean up team can fully remediate your office or business, and our crew has the proper protective gear and training. In some cases, insurance will even cover the cost of biohazard clean up.
A Note About COVID-19
If your business (or home) has been impacted by COVID-19, the team at Austin Bio Clean can help with biohazard clean up. Using a professional, OSHA-compliant cleaning service that specializes in biohazard remediation is the only way to ensure that the virus has been inactivated and removed from all surfaces, flooring, walls, etc.
Who Should Call Austin Bio Clean?
If you have a family member who has been found to have MRSA or you own a business that has been affected by MRSA, we can help. We offer complete biohazard clean up services for all types of businesses as well as residential cleanup. We also can help if your business has been affected by COVID-19 or you simply want complete disinfection services before opening back up for clients or employees.
We hope our MRSA facts have been helpful, but if you have any further questions, please give us a call. The team at Austin Bio Clean is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We provide all types of biohazard clean up, including infectious disease clean up, crime scene cleanup, unattended death clean up, suicide clean up and more. Our team is professional, courteous and discrete and we offer services throughout the Austin metro and Central Texas.