DANVILLE AQUATIC CLUB POLICY ON MRSA May 23, 2009 Staphylococcus aureus is a bacteria normally found on the skin or nose in healthy people. Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is staph that is resistant to commonly used antibiotics such as penicillins and cephalosporins. MRSA has emerged in the community and can cause infections in otherwise healthy people. In the community, most MRSA infections are minor skin infections that may appear as sores or boils that often are red, swollen, painful or have pus/drainage. These skin infections commonly occur at sites of breaks in the skin such as an abrasion or cut and areas of the body covered by hair. MRSA is spread person to person through direct skin contact with shared items or surfaces ( towels, weight training equipment) that have touched a persons infection. To protect oneself from getting MRSA one should practice good personal hygiene. Keep your hands clean by washing frequently with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub. Wear water proof sandals in the locker room/shower area. Shower immediately after exercise. Do not share bar soap and towels. Wash uniform and clothing after each use. Wear protective gear designed to prevent skin abrasions or cuts. Don’t share razors, ointments, towels or clothing. Use a barrier (towel) between your skin and shared equipment (benches, weight training equipment). WHAT TO DO IF YOU HAVE BEEN DIAGNOSED WITH MRSA Inform your parents and seek treatment from a medical doctor. After you have been diagnosed with MRSA inform your DAC coach. The DAC coach will inform the DAC board president. All athletic facilities are routinely cleaned whether or not MRSA infections have occurred or not per Environmental Protection Agency and governing bodies. To prevent spread to others you must cover your wounds and keep covered with clean, dry bandages until healed. Follow your health care provider’s instructions on proper care of the wound. Clean your hands often with soap/water or alcohol based hand rub. Do not share personal items. Finish all prescribed medications. Atheletes with active infections or open wounds should not use whirlpools, therapy pools, or swimming pools until infections and wounds are healed. To return to swim practice you must have a written note from your physician. To clear you for practice your Doctor will want your wound to be healed completely prior to swimming in the pool. He may clear you to do dryland if the wound can be properly covered.