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American Academy of Dermatology Research Shows Athletes Susceptible to Antibiotic-Resistant Staph Infections
Date:6/23/2008

le modes of transmission of the infection.

While numerous studies have identified potential risk factors for MRSA infection among athletes, few studies have examined the effect of preventive hygienic practices. In an investigation conducted by the University of Southern California over the course of three football seasons from 2002 to 2004, the number of MRSA infections among the same college players declined over the three-year period when preventive hygienic measures were implemented. These interventions included covering wounds, using hexachlorophene 3% (an antibacterial skin cleanser), prohibiting multiuse pump lotions or other topical massage products, and educating players and trainers about hygiene and the importance of not sharing equipment, towels or other personal items.

"It appears that the primary mode of MRSA transmission involves person-to-person contact, but the significance of this risk factor varies among different sports," added Dr. Adams. "Even in largely non-contact sports such as soccer, volleyball, cross-country, fencing and weight lifting, outbreaks of MRSA infections have been reported -- suggesting that shared facilities or shared personal items were the likely culprit.

At a minimum, Dr. Adams recommends that all those involved in athletics follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC's) measures for preventing MRSA infections among sports participants, which includes:

-- Cover all wounds. If a wound cannot be covered adequately, consider

excluding players with potentially infectious skin lesions from

practice or competitions until the lesions are healed or can be covered

adequately.

-- Encourage good hygiene, including showering and washing with soap after

all practices and competitions.

-- Ensure availability of adequate soap and hot water.

-- Discourage sharing of towels and personal items, such as clothing or

equipment.

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SOURCE American Academy of Dermatology
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