MRSA staph not a problem locally, health officials say

By Holley Nees - email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) – It's a bacteria that's common on the human body.

"Staph is something that first of all we have on our skin.  The MRSA staph is the Methacillin Resistant Staph.  This staph is a lot harder to treat with antibiotics," said Barbara Rains, director of infection control.

A recent study found community-acquired MRSA is spreading in hospitals and health care facilities.  But one East Texas doctor says he hasn't seen much change in Lufkin over the past several years.

"I can say for at least the last eight years in Lufkin, we've had the same, pretty much the same amount of the MRSA as we've seen just about anywhere else," said Dr. Michael Iverson of Urgent Doc.

Since MRSA is resistant to a lot of antibiotics, your best bet to avoid this strain of staph is to make sure the infection site is covered if someone has it, dispose of wound dressings properly, wash your hands and can clean common areas that many people touch with diluted bleach.

"MRSA is something that can live on surfaces, so if people have one of these sores and they pick and scratch and they touch tables, chairs, and it's not washed, the next person coming by is at risk for getting it as well," said Rains.

"Some people seem to spread to easier and then others -- I've seen where there's families of six and two of them will keep getting it over and over again and the other four won't ever get it," said Iverson.

Iversen says there are still unknowns about this strain of staph that can spread quickly.

"We don't know everything there is to be known about MRSA yet as far as community acquired and why some people get it and others don't.  But, we know that you can see in some cases where there are locker rooms and football teams where a lot of people get it," said Iverson.

Iversen says if you see a red spot that may look like a pimple or a spider bite and it hurts and it isn't going away, you should get a doctor to look at it.

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