MRSA infections in the community are usually skin infections, such as pimples and boils, and occur in otherwise healthy people. In the outbreaks of MRSA, the environment (i.e. surfaces) has not played a significant role in the transmission of MRSA. MRSA is transmitted most frequently by direct skin-to-skin contact. You can prevent MRSA skin infections by practicing good hygiene:
- Wash your hands.
- Keep cuts and scrapes clean and covered with a bandage until healed.
- Avoid contact with other people’s wounds or bandages.
- Avoid sharing personal items such as towels or razors.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website has excellent information about MRSA. Visit the CDC’s main MRSA website or their website with information about community acquired MRSA.
NIOSH has posted a new web page with information and recommendations to help employers and workers address workplace concerns associated with MRSA.
Students, employees and others on campus need to be aware of the epidemic and take precautions against infection and know what to do if they see a suspicious animal or come into contact with one. Anyone who sees an animal displaying the symptoms of rabies should call the Department of Public Safety by dialing 911.
Common signs of rabies in animals include the following behaviors:
- Daytime activity in animals normally active at night.
- Staggering, weakness and paralysis.
- A change in the animal’s voice.
- Inability or reluctance to eat or drink.
- Drooling or frothing at the mouth.
Rabies is a disease, caused by a virus, which can infect all mammals, including humans. It is transmitted through contact with the saliva or nervous tissue of an infectious animal – usually through a bite. Rabies can also be passed by scratches from an infected animal or when infected saliva or brain tissue comes into contact with open wounds or breaks in the skin or mucous membranes.
If an exposed person or animal is not treated quickly, the virus may infect the person or animal and may result in death. Although the annual rabies death rate in the United States is very low, many of those deaths result from bat bites because such bites may not be noticeable. If you find a bat near a young child, a pet or person who is asleep or intoxicated, call 911 so the bat can be captured and tested. Anyone who might have been exposed should seek immediate medical attention.
If you are bitten, scratched or come into contact with any animal you suspect may be rabid, in addition to contacting public safety or other emergency personnel, it is important to act quickly to prevent contracting the disease.
According to guidelines established by the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you should wash the wound as soon as possible for at least 10 minutes with soap and warm running water and contact a doctor immediately.
Students should go to the Student Health Service. University employees on duty should go to theUniversity Employee Occupational Health Clinic at 145 N. Medical Drive. Except on holidays, the clinic is open Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Employees working during shifts when the clinic is closed should follow procedures established by their department.
If exposed while off-duty, employees should call their family doctor or go immediately to the nearest emergency room.
For more health information, please visit the Orange County Health Department.