Incredibly, more than 90,000 Americans get potentially deadly MRSA infections every year and in 2005, nearly 19,000 Americans died from MRSA infections. More deaths are linked to MRSA infections than AIDS, a startling fact underscored by the fact that people can carry MRSA and not have any symptoms. These "carriers" can also transmit the bacteria to other people. MRSA can be easily spread through skin-to-skin contact and by touching contaminated items..
The website Stop MRSA Now offers information about MRSA and the downloadable STOP MRSA Now Playbook, which includes the following five-point plan, among other critical tips and information:
Scrub up - Wash hands frequently with soap and warm water for at least 15 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand rub sanitizer.
Wipe it down - Use a disinfecting bleach solution to wipe down and disinfect hard surfaces. (1 tablespoon of disinfecting bleach diluted in 1 quart of water)
Cover your cuts - Keep any nicks or wounds covered with a clean, dry bandage until healed.
Keep to yourself - Do not share personal items, like towels or razors, that come into contact with bare skin.
Use a barrier - Keep a towel or clothing between skin and shared equipment.
School-age kids might be more motivated to adopt the five-point plan when they read basketball star Grant Hill's MRSA story. The infection kept him sick and sidelined for six months in 2003 and he now acts as a spokesman for Stop MRSA Now to prevent others from having to go through the same thing.