Actually YES! I am a germophobe. I think after reading this article, you will understand why and might join my circle. Handwashing is a common practice that can protect you from so many things. I cringe every time I see people leave a restroom, touch doorknobs or railings, eat food, and go about their business without washing their hands. I've seen little kids walk to the sink in a restroom to try to wash their hands and have a parent snatch them away because they are in a hurry. STOP!!! Let the kid wash their hands.
Today we are talking Staph Infection.
Sadly, there has been an increase in the amount of Staph infections over the course of the last few years. I think education is key in preventing and protecting you and your families from this looming offender. Here's a little 'need to know info' on this bacteria.
There are 2 types of methicillin-resistant (fancy word, but focus on the 'resistant' part of it), Staphylococcus aureus: healthcare-associated MRSA and community acquired MRSA. So really what that means is you can get it from exposure in the hospital with common places like hospitals, nursing homes, dialysis clinics, etc. Or, you can get it in the community through skin-to-skin contact with razors, towels, athletic equipment. Athletes can be at a higher risk because of contact-sports and such. Other places of contact could include day cares, dormitories, military barracks, and tattoo parlors. Symptoms of Staph typically include a red, tender, warm, and swollen area. It kind of looks like an insect bite. Fluid or pus can sometimes appear too. Years ago we had a delivery driver who presented with it on the top of his hands where he constantly put his hands into his pockets to retrieve his keys. Thankfully he asked me about the red appearing spots and I told him to make an appointment with his Dr. asap because I was suspicious that it was Staph. And, it was. (sigh)
Treatment can include draining the wound and culturing the site to confirm Staph infection along with antibiotic therapy to prevent worsening of the bacteria and spread to others. Scary, but Staph infection can also appear in the nose. In fact, there is a specific product made just for Staph infection of the nose. Getting a jump on things, can minimize the bad effects that it can cause.
So how do you protect your family? Well, should I reiterate the handwashing schpeel again?!?! Ok, Ok, I think you got the message. But here are some other things to think about: Wash the workout equipment at the gym before using it. Don't share towels or razors with people. If someone has a wound, ask them to cover it. (I can't believe someone would have to do that, but hey!, people can lack common sense sometimes... ) Protect your kids by assessing other children who may appear ill or have a wound.
Teach your teenagers to change their bed sheets and wash their hands as regular routine. And, especially, practice what you preach. Staph infection is not always preventable, but taking precautionary steps may help reduce the chance of infection. If you have a loved one in the hospital or nursing home, make sure to be aware of wounds, fever, poor cleanliness practices, and the like. Report anything that is not in the best interests of your loved ones care.
So are you a germophobe? Because being a germophobe is actually acceptable in my book. :)
To your good health,