Staph Infection Concerns; School Sends Letter to Parents 10/15/07
Liverpool (WSYR-TV) - An 11-year old youth hockey player from Rome continues his recovery at University Hospital, where he is suffering from a staph infection. The child's case became so serious, he was reportedly put in a medically induced coma.
That's the same type of infection that caused the Liverpool School District to send home a letter about a skin infection showing up at the high school. Two students tested positive for the strain, known as MRSA, or Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus. The students are being treated, and no other cases have been reported. Staph infections are common in hospital and nursing home patients, and athletes.
Scott Hinman knows all about the bacteria that can stink up sporting equipment.
"That's an elbow pad under a microscope. That's what it looks like. What is that? It is black mold," says Hinman.
Mold, bacteria, and fungus. Hinman says if it's rubbing up against your skin, it can cause a staph infection in your body.
"With any equipment, it's more likely to grow in areas that are hidden."
As the owner of Syracuse Clean Gear, Scott says parents often don't realize how important it is to wash and clean their child's sports gear, or have it cleaned by someone else.
“If you're a runner, would you take off what you just wore and sweated in, hang it up and let it air dry and then throw it back on? People would never do that."
His store in Cicero cleans sporting equipment in a three-hour, four-step process. An infectious disease doctor at University Hospital says cleaning is the only way to get rid of bacteria.
“Have your own personal equipment,” recommends Dr. Shelley Gilroy, who specializes in infectious diseases.
"Then after involved in practice or in a game, come home and shower with antibacterial soap and change your clothes and wash your clothing."
Dr. Gilroy says the same goes for the gear. Clean it after every use with water and bleach solution, or run the risk of infecting yourself with bacteria belonging to someone else. She also recommends hand washing.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, MRSA usually spreads after skin to skin contact, but it can be shared from object to person since it lives on surfaces for up to three days. To prevent the spread of a staph infection, the CDC recommends keeping cuts and scrapes clean and covered with bandages, and not sharing items like clothing, shoes, razors and towels.