Cleaning Hands, Saving Lives: Stopping the Spread of Staph
You’ve probably read the headlines in recent months about cases where students were diagnosed with a virulent staph infection known as methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus – MRSA for short. Now, a diverse group of organizations is elevating nationwide awareness of the steps that communities can take to combat the spread of staph infections.
The National Education Association (NEA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and The Soap and Detergent Association (SDA) are speaking out on the importance of proper and effective personal hygiene and surface-cleaning practices.
“Clearly, parents are concerned about the increase in serious health conditions being caused by staph infections that have been impacting schools around the nation,” said Jerald Newberry, Executive Director, National Education Association Health Information Network. “NEA, through its Health Information Network, is working with parents and school employees to convey the importance of thorough hand cleansing several times a day. In addition, when staph and MRSA skin infections occur, it’s important to clean and disinfect surfaces that are likely to contact uncovered or poorly covered infections. These measures can go a long way in preventing the spread of many germs in school settings.”
“Covering infections will greatly reduce the risks of surfaces becoming contaminated with staph, including MRSA,” said Rachel Gorwitz, medical epidemiologist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “But students should remember even if a surface is contaminated and you touch it, you can remove that germ from your hands through simple washing with everyday soap and warm water.”
“Very simply put, common sense cleaning, disinfecting, and hand hygiene saves people’s lives,” said Nancy Bock, Vice President of Education at The Soap and
Detergent Association. “It’s important that school surfaces are cleaned and disinfected regularly, and that custodial crews use those cleaning products safely and properly. We also remind student athletes and their families to regularly wash their uniforms and sports outfits in hot water and laundry detergent.”
For more information, visit CDC’s online MRSA information Web site, at www.cdc.gov/MRSA.
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