MRSA and Cystic Fibrosis
This information can help answer questions that you may have about MRSA and cystic fibrosis (CF).
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MRSA stands for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. It can cause an infection on the skin and in the lungs. It is resistant to several common antibiotics.
MRSA can be treated with some antibiotics, nose drops and other therapies. To find out more, talk with your CF care center about MRSA.
Anyone can get MRSA. Some people with CF have MRSA growing in their sputum.
It may worsen lung disease. A recent study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), looked at MRSA lung infections in people with CF. They concluded that having MRSA in your lungs for longer than 2 years might affect survival. However, there is much more to learned about MRSA, how it affects people with CF and the best treatment for a MRSA lung infection.
Talk to your CF care center to find out more.
MRSA can spread from one person to another through casual contact or through contact with objects that have become covered with it.
If MRSA is in the lungs, it can be spread in tiny drops of liquid when a person coughs, sneezes or laughs, or on objects that touch the mouth.
If MRSA is on the skin, it can be spread through skin-to-skin contact with others, such as athletes involved in football or wrestling.
The best way to protect yourself from MRSA is to do the following.
Your CF care center can tell you if you or your child has MRSA in the lungs. This is one of the germs that grow in the sputum culture done at your clinic visits.
Most skin infections are boils and abscesses and are not serious. However, infections that are more serious do occur and these may be caused by MRSA. If you have a skin infection that is not healing see your regular doctor for help.
Activities to avoid getting MRSA will help avoid spreading it. Good hand cleaning and coughing into a tissue and throwing it away in a covered trashcan are the key things to do to avoid MRSA.back to top
Good hand cleaning means that you are using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer or washing with soap and water often to avoid getting or spreading germs. You should clean your hands:
No, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that in general, it is not necessary to close schools to "disinfect" them for MRSA. MRSA skin infections are spread mainly by skin-to-skin contact and touching surfaces that have come into contact with someone else's infection. This is why good hand cleaning is so important to avoid getting MRSA.
If I or my child has MRSA, should I or my child stay home from work or school?
Talk with your CF doctor and CF healthcare team about whether or not the school should be notified.
Visit the websites of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the National Library of Medicine: