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How to keep the bug in check

Intact, healthy skin provides a natural blockade against infection, together with MRSA.

Experts say infections can be easily avoided in schools, and even hospitals, when common-sense rules are part of the daily routine.

Dr. Steven J. Walerstein, medical director of Nassau University Medical Center, notes that cuts, abrasions or other irritated areas can contribute to skin infections since bacteria finds a vulnerable point of entry. Most MRSA infections outside of hospitals are of the skin.

Walerstein offered these points to keep away from infection:

Keep things clean. Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects and shared areas that may become contaminated with saliva, sweat or wound drainage. Clean surfaces with a commercial disinfectant or diluted bleach (1 tablespoon of bleach in 1 quart of water) and let to air dry.

Put into practice good personal hygiene, together with showering thoroughly every day and as soon as possible after physical activity. Make sure to make use of a clean, dry towel.

Clean dirty clothes after physical activities.

Do not share personal care items such as razors, towels, bar soap, shaving cream or water bottles.

Do not share any topical preparations such as ointments, lotions, deodorants or antibiotic creams.

Do not shave body hair for wound-care reasons as shaving can create micro-abrasions that let bacteria enter.



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