Nov 20, 2008

Listen to your momma...

I work in a local hospital, and when the Boy Wonder was an infant, folks were constantly asking me if I was worried about him getting some weird illness or infection because of my exposure. I played it off that breastfeeding made him superbaby because he got my antibodies....while true, it's not the whole story.

Certain strains of bacteria and viruses are stronger than ever. And whatever immune system superpowers I may have passed on to my little guy, things like MRSA (Methicilling Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus) are a genuine cause for concern. Essentially, it's a strain of the Staph bacteria that has grown resistant to our common antibiotics. When we get a patient who has tested positive for MRSA bacteria, they have to be put in a room by themselves or with another MRSA patient. They have to go through treatment with much stronger antibiotics (which can cause side effects like nausea), and their hospital stays can sometimes be longer than they should be. It is a contact-transferred bacteria, meaning it moves via skin-to-skin contact or by touching something after it has been touched by a person with MRSA.

I'm not one to live in constant fear of the things I can't see, but because of what I see at work I do follow a few simple rules at home that will help protect my family. And most of these things are the same rules you should follow to stay healthy through cold/flu season and keep from getting less serious infections - so do what momma always said.... :)

  1. WASH YOUR HANDS - if you use soap, keep scrubbing until you've sung through "Happy Birthday once. Or, use a hand sanitizer. Wash anytime after you've touched a public surface, sneezed or coughed, used the restroom....the usual.
  2. Use a disinfecting bleach solution on hard surfaces. Bleach kills the bacteria.
  3. Cover your open cuts. Get some cartoon character Band-aids if it makes it more fun :)
  4. Sharing can be BAD! Don't share drinks, eating utensils, personal care items.
  5. Don't share surfaces either. Keep some kind of barrier (towel, clothing, etc) between your skin and public surfaces. Yeah, those toilet seat covers are OK too.
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