Live Web Chat Today On MRSA Staph Inf...

Live Web Chat Today On MRSA Staph Infections

There are 72 comments on the WUSA Washington, DC story from Oct 17, 2007, titled Live Web Chat Today On MRSA Staph Infections. In it, WUSA Washington, DC reports that:

Ashton Bonds, 17, a senior at Staunton River High School in Bedford, Virginia, died Monday.

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#1 Oct 17, 2007
My Mother went to Civista Hospital for a simple illness and then contracted MRSA. We had to wear robes, masks, and gloves and could not touch her. But the nurses and other staff came in with nothing, walked out without washing. She had her own blood pressure cup but they rarely used this. My Mother is now gone.

Another lady down the street went into the same hospital for something simple. She contracted MRSA also and is now gone.

So what does that say about the hospital care takers! I guess they skiped that chapter in the training!

Martinsburg, WV

#2 Oct 17, 2007
We have four cases of staph in our Berkeley County, West Virginia school system. Our school system and health department has released a letter to the parents stating that the cases are not confirmed to be MRSA. They have told the local newspaper that on a severity level of 1 - 10 this rates less than a 1. We have since seen an interoffice email from the school board office confirming that "We have had a couple of cases of confirmed MRSA in some of our schools" Does this raise the "severity level"? I am scared to send my children to school if proper sanitization precautions have not been taken. Am I being overly protective?

Washington, DC

#3 Oct 17, 2007
My doctor has dianosed MRSA and is treating me with Zyvox, started yesterday. I have a nickle size sore on my thigh. What else should I be doing to stop the MRSA from spreading in my body, and to others.

Dearborn Heights, MI

#4 Oct 17, 2007
well i am struggling with staff i know i have it cause it is breaking my immune system down ...
i am a pre med student and i examined my own blood and discovered many things wrong with it and yet my docter has yet to diagnose me and i only found out it was deadly this morning....

United States

#5 Oct 17, 2007
I've been told that MRSA is carried by young children. Is there a test to determine if your child is a carrier?
Marci Calantonio

Washington, DC

#6 Oct 17, 2007
My son survived a bloodstream MRSA infection this September acquired through high school football at Poolesville High School in Montgomery County, Maryland.

We spent 1 week at Children's Hospital in Washington, DC and I got a very intense education through Infectious Disease.

CA-MRSA is not just a minor skin infection and can present itself without any skin involvement at all. It is a prevalent cause of bloodstream infection today.

Please get the message across far and wide to parents that this is not just a minor skin infection, and presentation of a high fever, with fatigue and body pain, usually localized, is a sign to get to the doctor or hospital and get a blood culture immediately.

Redmond, WA

#7 Oct 17, 2007
My son is in class with one that has this, they cleaned everything she touched on Tuesday, but what about what she touched on Monday?
Marci Calantonio

Washington, DC

#8 Oct 17, 2007
Disinfecting with bleach/water solution or any disinfecting agent is only good for the TIME IT IS CLEANED. There is no residual effect, and surfaces can be recontaminated as soon as bacteria is reintroduced through touch. There are products out there that are FDA and EPA approved that have a 90-day antimicrobial residual effect on porous and non-porous surfaces, and as well there is a laundering agent that can be used in the rinse cycle of our washing machine for sports uniforms, etc. that has a antimicrobial residual effect for 75 washings. It is manufactured by Cleen Freek Sports Hygiene Protection and Prevention, and you can go to . Originially designed for protection of athletes and weight rooms/locker rooms, this product is also great for commercial buildings, day-care centers, and SCHOOLS. Advocate to your COUNTY SCHOOL BOARD it's use. Check it out, and then demand it be added to their approved supply list. It is used by 25 NFL football teams, colleges, and high schools nationwide. It needs to be used in more settings, especially since MRSA is having such an outbreak. We now have 13 confirmed MRSA staph infections, with at least hospitalized cases since September in Montgomery County, Maryland.

Melissa from Martinsburg

Martinsburg, WV

#9 Oct 18, 2007
Lisa K -- I am also concerned after reading about the students in Berkeley Co. Do you know what schools or age groups?

United States

#10 Oct 18, 2007
Kathy wrote:
I've been told that MRSA is carried by young children. Is there a test to determine if your child is a carrier?
MRSA is not carried by small children, it is a bacteria that is present in the nose or on the skin. To find out if someone is a carrier, they take a nasal swave and do a culture in the lab. It does hurt at all and only takes about 10 seconds to do the swave, then about 24 hours for the first test, then a 48 hour and finally the 72 hour test. If nothing grows, then you are negative. I KNOW because I got MRSA in 06 and have been fighting it for 18 months. It's not something you ever would wish on your worst enemy, but don't pantic. I can not give it to anyone since mine is under control now. I worked Trauma Medicine for 27 years and the Nurse Manager of the Emergency Department always said "Don't panic before it's panic time and I will tell you when it's panic time". She never said "PANIC". This applies to the public also. If I had panic I would have been dead by now, assess the problem so you can deal with it and do your homework because you have to be forcefull with some of the medical field to protect yourself. Remember, "You are # ONE, not the medical field and if you don't do your homework, you don't know what questions to ask or what is right or wrong.
matthew schaub

Brentwood, TN

#11 Oct 21, 2007
how long does mrsa live on objects


#12 Oct 22, 2007
Yes I would like to know the answer to "how long does mrsa live on objects" and any other info anyone has as to how I can protect myself (other than the conventional ways of practicing GREAT hygene).. I live (and am 24/7 caregiver) with my Mother who is 81 and has an active mrsa sore on her left great toe. She is not a candidate for antibiotics any more do to almost complete pancreatic/kidney/liver failure after an agressive regimine of double strength Bactrim DS and Minocycline 100mg.(By the way, the infectious disease Dr said at her almost dying bedside "oh yeah, I do remember Minocycline can cause pancreatic failure") I almost fell over, DUH.. I know I am living with active Mrsa and need to know any and all precautions to take for myself, my daughter and grandchild and all family members and friends that come into this house. I thank anyone in advance for your comments. My prayers are very active for anyone with this resistant bacteria.
Marci Calantonio

Washington, DC

#13 Oct 23, 2007
MRSA is just a drug resistant form of staph. Staph lives on our skin - from the day we are born, until the day we die. It just likes us as a host, as well as pets. The only way staph bacteria can harm you or your grandchildren, is if you get a break in your skin and the bacteria causes an infection. Good personal hygiene is obviously first-line defense, washing hands longer than we have done in the past, using 60% alcohol-based hand sanitizers in between washings, and when transitioning from one task to another. The easiest way to know where staph is going to be is to say, "Everywhere I go, I take it with me." We are the problem. It is not an environmental problem, per se, in that we transmit and contract staph from our skin to a surface, or vice versa, through touch. We put it everywhere. It stays there until we properly disinfect it! 80 days to 6 months! Don't worry, you've been around it all of your life! It is on my keyboard as I type right now! What I do in my home is to use disinfectant wipes that state they will kill Staph aureus bacteria, and ideally MRSA. There is only one bacteria --Staph - MRSA is its name when they find out someone has resistancy to treating with first-line antibiotics is there with the methacillin "resistant" strains. This has been building for the past 20 years in the health community, as we have overused antibiotics, misdiagnosed infections and treated with the wrong antibiotics, and quite frankly, the gene in the bacteria just learned to mutate and became harder to treat; hence, methacillin-resistant staph aureus (MRSA). Unless you have a cut, you will not contract staph infections. You have been living with staph all of your life! If you do have a cut, and for your mother's wound, you can use a product on the marked called Staphaseptic (go to for more information). It is a bactericidal agent and topical antiseptic that is proven effective to kill all bacteria as well as staph and MRSA on skin. You can first clean her wound (or any cut) with Hibiclens, which is an antimicrobial wound cleanser (used at hospitals) found at your drugstore. Then you would apply the Staphaseptic as a topical treatment like you would Neosporin, or polysporin, bacitracin, or triple-antibiotics (which have NOT been proven to treat staph and especially MRSA, as it has grown around being treated by the "cillin" drugs. Just remember, the bacteria is living on our skin, we slough it off, we shed it, we hug and embrace, and we touch everyhing. So think, "Everywhere I go, I take it with me." Routinely clean things that we touch - TV remote controls, keyboards, mouse pad, refrigerator handles, counter tops, railings, doorknobs, faucets, bathroom floors, etc., etc., with disinfectant wipes daily (only takes 2 minutes!) and you will kill the bacteria from your skin that you leave behind. That and washing your hands and using alcohol based hand sanitizers will do the best job for you in caring for your family. And, most importantly, teach everyone to do the same! If your hands are clean, you will not transmit and leave the bacteria on a surface; if your surfaces are clean, you will not put it on your fingertips. YOU WILL always be at risk if you get a break in your skin to get an infection, and can even infect yourself, the bacteria is on your skin. Sometimes your immune system will just heal the wound at the skin level. Since your mother cannot take the antibiotics, I would try this topical method of caring for her wound. Wear gloves, administer the Hibiclens with a gauze pad, and use a Q-Tip to put on the Staphaseptic (sold at CVS, Rite Aid, Eckerd Drugs, and other stores -- and online). This may improve the infection at the skin level. Bless you for taking such good care of your family.
Marci Calantonio

Washington, DC

#14 Oct 23, 2007
Arthur wrote:
My doctor has dianosed MRSA and is treating me with Zyvox, started yesterday. I have a nickle size sore on my thigh. What else should I be doing to stop the MRSA from spreading in my body, and to others.
Arthur, you should be cleaning your wound, and keeping it covered. Do this several times a day. Use Hibiclens antimicrobial cleaner, which kills germs and MRSA, and use Staphaseptic bacticidal topical antiseptic, which has been proven to kill staph and MRSA on the skin (sold at CVS, Rite Aid, Eckerd Drugs, and at ). Clean, apply the topical Staphaseptic, and cover with bandage. Wear latex gloves to do this, and then obviously you can pull them inside out and throw them away. The oozing nature of your wound is contagious - bacteria can be spread by your fingers from that wound to other parts of your body that you touch, and if you get another break in your skin, it can show up there as well. IF you start developing other lesions on your body and boils pop up, or you develop fever and pain in a body part, GO IMMEDIATELY BACK TO YOUR DOCTOR and ask for a blood culture to see if the skin infection has gone into your blood. A skin infection can seed deeper into the body and cause soft tissue/joint, bloodstream infection, bony involvement, organ involvement, and even death. So stay on top of your nickel-size lesion now. Keep yourself from contaminating other people or yourself by not sharing towels and washing towels frequently (after each use on your leg), and your sheets as well. Wash them and dry in a hot dryer until completely dry. That is supposed to kill the bacteria, as well. Wash you hands as often as practical, and use 60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer in between. When you transition from one activity to another, since you have an active infection, use the hand sanitizer, which will kill any bacteria on your hands and fingertips within seconds. That way you will lessen the likelihood that you will spread it to other surfaces, or to yourself, or other areas of your environment - your car, your work place, etc. I hope this helps.

Follow EXACTLY your doctor's orders for taking your medication. If you notice anything change with different symptoms that you cannot put cause to or without warning - go IMMEDIATELY TO YOUR DOCTOR OR ER AND DEMAND A BLOOD CULTURE. The best that will happen, is that your blood culture will be negative. I assume you already had a wound culture??? To know exactly what strain of staph you have and what it is sensitive to for treating it??? If not, then as for the wound culture!


#15 Oct 24, 2007
I know I should wash my hands and not share towels, razors, etc. I certainly don't want to infect someone else and I don't want to live in a bubble either. I don't see other restrictions posted anywhere. Can anyone tell me if it's okay to still use public toilets, public showers, saunas, whirlpools, go to the gym, pools, etc. as long as I take my meds, wash my hands, cover the site on my thigh with a bandaid or dressing. I know it's important to keep clean, should my daughter (with a MRSA infection on her hip) also shower at school after soccer practice as long as she puts a bandaid over the sore? The coach has made showering after practice mandatory now.


#16 Oct 24, 2007
Marci C said that "CA-MRSA is not just a minor skin infection and can present itself without any skin involvement at all." Could you please elaborate on that? My daughter sat right next to a child in school that had a "boil" on his arm for several weeks. It was eventually diagnosed as MRSA. She did not tell me about that until yesterday. Two weeks ago she was seen by 3 different pediatricians and a family practitioner. All were stumped. It was all over her leg from the sole to the thigh. It got worse with heat. It was red with a small pimple/bugbite looking thing in the middle and an blanched area (eraser tip size) around each pimple/bugbite. It gave her skin a kind of lacy purplish color. No pus, just itchy. After stumping 4 doctors I took her to a dermatologist who looked at it for 30 seconds and diagnosed it as "some sort of viral rash and nothing to worry about." Now that she's told me about her 2 week long daily "exposure" to a schoolmate with MRSA and after reading Marci's comment, I have to wonder. An elaboration on Marci's part would be helpful to me to connect the dots better. THe rash is 90% gone and she appears to be doing better, but might I be looking at a calm before the storm?

Culpeper, VA

#17 Oct 24, 2007
What is really going on here? This is no coincedence. It sounds like a terrorist attack on our children at this point, this is just my opinion. This kind of stuff doesn't just happen at this rate. I want more attention on this infection here locally, and less on the LA fires. We are losing lives right now, in our town, and it's our kids that are the victims. I am fearful for my daughter right now, and so is she. I pray to God that he keeps my family, as well as everyone elses families, safe from anymore harm of this virus. God please stop it dead in its tracks, now, PLEASE. We all need to pray together, immediately, for this MRSA spread to end. LET's GO!!!
Marci Calantonio

Washington, DC

#18 Oct 25, 2007
Curious wrote:
I know I should wash my hands and not share towels, razors, etc. I certainly don't want to infect someone else and I don't want to live in a bubble either. I don't see other restrictions posted anywhere. Can anyone tell me if it's okay to still use public toilets, public showers, saunas, whirlpools, go to the gym, pools, etc. as long as I take my meds, wash my hands, cover the site on my thigh with a bandaid or dressing. I know it's important to keep clean, should my daughter (with a MRSA infection on her hip) also shower at school after soccer practice as long as she puts a bandaid over the sore? The coach has made showering after practice mandatory now.
As far as risk for spreading your infection, from what I have been told through Infectious Disease, your wound lesion until healed is "contagious," as as the dressings you are covering it with. So, having said that, to go into a public place and take showers perhaps would be okay (I assume at the gym?), however, your dressing change after the shower to reclean, reapply wound coverage, and a new dressing would mean throwing that old dressing away - perhaps with it's weeping remains. THAT would be contagious, in a public bathroom and would put at least the janitor at risk to contract staph or MRSA. Whirlpool - NO WAY - pools - NO WAY - SAUNAS - NO WAY! That is precisely how the NFL football players were spreading it around amongst teammates! As well, perfect modality to get ANY OTHER GERMS from that whirlpool or pool or hot humid environment into your body, via the same contraction you got your infection in the first place - through a break in your skin. As for your daughter, wound coverage and dressing disposal is also the same issue in the locker room. MORE IMPORTANTLY, I'm glad to hear that it has become mandatory to shower. If you get the sweat and skin off of a body, there is less there to get bacteria into a potential break in the skin, however small that may be. MOST IMPORTANTLY, her wound and any other lesion or minor cut in athletics, however small, NEEDS TO BE REPORTED TO A COACH OR ATHLETIC TRAINER EACH AND EVERY TIME. They are trained in what to watch for and for limiting risk exposure to other teammates, and the coaches themselves. They should be doing daily cleaning with bleach-wather or other disinfectant that will effectively kill staph and MRSA to shared contacts in the locker room/equipment. And, as we ALL have staph on our skin (since the day we were born), you both have had what the medical professionals call a case of "bad luck." Follow your doctors orders, think about transmission through TOUCH from you to others in any domain, be it public or private, and use alcohol-based sanitizers on your hands when transitioning from ANY activity, in your case, from and to any environment, i.e., the gym, entering the locker room, leaving the locker room, from your car, etc.- while having an active wound, most especially and WASH YOUR HANDS!:)
Marci Calantonio

Washington, DC

#19 Oct 25, 2007
I forgot! As far as GOING to the gym and working out. Yes! You may go to the gym and public places. Use the disinfecting spray or wipes (I HOPE by now your GYM has that at each station and all bikes, treadmills, etc.) to wipe the contact surfaces (even the ones that your LEG does not come in contact with - the benches, seats, handles, weights, etc. Wipe off what you use before and after each use. Use a towel as a barrier between you and that seat, back support, bench, etc. IF THE GYM DOES NOT HAVE DISINFECTANT, EITHER 1:10 BLEACH/WATER SOLUTION, OR POP-UP CANISTER OF CLOROX WIPES OR OTHER WIPE THAT EFFECTIVELY KILLS STAPH AUREUS AND MRSA, BRING YOUR OWN! I REPEAT BRING YOUR OWN! That is the same concept as using the 60% alcohol-based hand sanitizers on your skin.

We are seeing this outbreak now because of the nature of this bacteria and it's evolution over the past 20 years. MRSA has been a big problem in the hospital setting (HA-MRSA, hospital-acquired MRSA), and now it has come out virulently in the community, hence (CA-MRSA, community acquired). The lifespan of a generation of bacteria is quite short, perhaps even 3 weeks - and they are quite saavy about mutating around current conditions so as to thrive. Their genes actually change or "mutate" around the bacterias and things have have killed them in the past.

Our daily hygiene routines just need to be stepped up - not only yours and your daughters. We are all contributors to this problem. We all leave staph (and 30% to 50% of us the MRSA strain) behind on things we tough as we leave our fingerprints (and skin with the bacteria on it) behind. Or our sweaty arm or leg that hits a piece of equipment in the gym, or bench in the locker room etc. That is why disinfection is crucial to those shared common surfaces. We can even infect ourselves. You got an outward sign with your open boils on the OUTSIDE OF YOUR BODY. MY SON had an open turf wound on his skin, and it went DIRECTLY into the blood stream with no evident skin infection at all. That is what I mean by this is virulent and can present with no skin infection at all - confirmed by all of his doctors - directly through a wound and into the skin. They also summize that an athlete after working out so hard (practice or competition) is left with a weakened immune system for several hours and that is when the staph or MRSA, when able to enter your body, "get you." And I might add very quickly!

Thank you, Curious, for being responsible and realizing that you have the potential to transmit this to someone else - even if you don't know and love them! That is the grass roots approach we ALL are responsible to do. Like the National Forest - welcome to come into their parks, but please leave no traces behind - so the next person can enjoy the parks' beauty as well.

Take care and God Bless you and your daughter. Follow directions from your doctor and you should see full recovery soon.
Marci Calantonio

Washington, DC

#20 Oct 25, 2007
As for possible exposure for the past few weeks, yes, it is possible that there has been exposure - to her and every other student that touched any other shared surface in that building -including doorknobs, desks and chairs, cafeteria, locker rooms, etc. ALL THE KIDS have the potential to transmit and contract staph and MRSA in a building all day long. As to what to do today, firstly call the school health room nurse and report this situation - the mother may not as it is a skin infection (although MRSA infections are being reported through most county schools now). If that particular classroom and desks and doorknobs, etc. have NOT been disinfected INSIST ON THAT, in fact have your daughter bring in the disinfectant wipes (clorox or ones that will kill staph aureus and SPECIFICALLY MRSA, in this case)and have each kid in her class take one and wipe everything they can in the 2 minutes the towel is active - including pens and pencils (we TOUCH them!), etc. From here forward you need to inspect your daughter for openings in the skin - acne, small cuts, scrapes, etc. Watch for fever or pain in a localized part of her body (or no pain at all, as that could present later), or something that is just not "right", or presents without warning or specific cause. In that case, suspect bloodstream infection (which she cannot get from sitting next to the classmate with the MRSA infection, but could have had an opening in her skin that the bacteria from that child either through direct skin-to-skin contact with the rash on the leg, or shared contacts to your daughters fingertip, through an open cut on her body, etc.) AS FOR STUMPING THE MEDICAL COMMUNITY - that is what is happening. These bacterial infections in some cases are presenting as benign conditions that doctors have seen for years. A viral rash, a virus with a high fever, etc. They are misdiagnosing on first presentation and the bacteria continues to thrive and the wounds/rash/bloodstream infections get worse.
Your daughter needs to realize that she is transmitting staph (even if not MRSA) on everything she touches as well! We have grown up until 2005 without hearing 1 WORD about this - staph has coexisted in our environment, everywhere people are, for a millennium. Now the bacteria is so virulent that its presentation is obvious. SEND HER TO SCHOOL WITH HER OWN HAND SANITIZER (60% ALCOHOL BASED) AND USE IT WHEN TRANSITIONING FROM CLASSROOM TO CLASSROOM AND TO LUNCH, BATHROOM, ETC. STRONGLY SUGGEST THAT THE CLASSROOMS ALL HAVE PURELL IN THEM AT THE BACK OF THE ROOM - FOR THE KIDS TO USE WHEN THE ENTER THE CLASSROOM, NOT ON THE TEACHER'S DESK FOR HER TO USE! Tell your daughter to tell 2 friends, and educate them and tell 2 friends to pass it on. And think, Everywhere I go, I take it (staph) with me! Wash you hands and use alcohol-based hand sanitizers and disinfectant shared surfaces in our home and cars and schools. GO to and watch their DVD, "The ticking timebomb - MRSA" and order an informational kit for your shool nurse with their own copy to show in health class or on closed TV. They send pamphlet literature about MRSA and prevention, etc. Buy their product, Staphaseptic, bactericidal agent proven to kill staph and MRSA at CVS, RITE Aid, or Eckerd Drugs locally and use it in place of Neosporin, triple-antibiotic ointments etc.(as they are not proven effective to treat MRSA) on all cuts, RASHES, and even pimples. If the staph is there, it will kill it!

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