MRSA is everywhere. Once mostly contained to hospitals and other medical facilities, the drug resistant strain of Staphylococcus has now spread to schools and supermarkets. It can be spread by surfaces or from person-to-person. The person-to-person form of transmission has just been illustrated in a particularly terrifying case out of Minnesota.
A high school wrestler was recently diagnosed with MRSA after taking part in a tournament. Skin-to-skin contact is extremely common in athletics, not just in wrestling but also in basketball, football and hockey. Even in sports where person-to-person contact is less common, MRSA could still be spread by a shared baseball or volleyball. And this isn’t only a school issue. These types of activities are also common at YMCAs and other places.
The extent of the exposure is not yet known, and other athletes will need to be tested. The gymnasium where the tournament occurred will need to be cleaned and disinfected, but even this is no guarantee. After all, professional football teams have struggled to eradicate MRSA from their training rooms, despite having a huge amount of money available to fund the cleaning.
If you or your child take part in sports, organized or pick-up games, please be mindful of what you can do to limit the chance of infection. Please:
- Wash your hands and shower in hot water as soon as possible after the game
- Stop playing immediately if you or another player develops an open wound
- Don’t share towels or clothes with other players
MRSA might be the major health crisis or our time, especially as the amount of places we could possibly be exposed increase. If you or a loved one has contracted MRSA, it can be difficult to determine the location or situation from where it was contracted. Contact an attorney who can help you answer that very important question.