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How can I protect myself when caring for someone who has MRSA?

Hand washing is one of the most important things a person can do to prevent spread of any illness caused by bacteria or viruses, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Antiseptic hand foams and gels are often used as well. The bacteria that are linked to methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infections are often colonized on our skin; sometimes antibiotics can be used to decrease the amount of bacteria. Cleaning surfaces and bedding may also reduce transmission. In hospitals and medical facilities, people who have MRSA infections are often isolated in separate rooms and caregivers wear protective gowns and gloves to reduce transmission to other patients.

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a very contagious bacterial infection, so if you know someone with the condition, you should take precautions. If you have a weakened immune system, you may want to completely avoid direct contact or always wear protective items like a face mask or gloves. For people with healthy immune systems, make sure that you're always keeping your skin clean, that you don't share items with infected persons, and that you're keeping up good hygiene habits. Avoid skin contact with infected people, particularly if you have open wounds.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.