Preventing staph infections is easier in healthier people than in those with a compromised immune system. Staph infections are caused by Staphylococcus, which are highly adaptable, durable bacteria that can cause a variety of infections. Some infections can be prevented with simple hand washing, but other staph infections like MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) will require MRSA precautions being followed to prevent the bacteria from spreading. Antibacterial products can kill staph bacteria but it also kills good bacteria that keep the bad bacteria in check. This bacterium is highly adaptable and may mutate into strains that are resistant to antibacterial products when they are overused in addition to becoming resistant to other antibiotics.
Preventing the Spread of Bacteria By Hand Washing
Using soap and water to wash hands properly is one of the easiest ways to prevent becoming infected with bacteria or viruses. Proper hand washing includes the following:
- Wetting hands with clean water
- Applying soap
- Creating a lather
- Thorough cleaning (between fingers, under nails, wrists)
- Rinse completely
- Allow water to drip down from finger tips
- Dry with paper towel
Frequent hand washing can cause dry skin that has cracks and breaks, which may allow bacteria to enter the body. Dry skin on hands should be treated and when there are breaks in the skin, they should be covered to prevent bacteria from entering the body. When in contact with a person with a staph infection, especially a MRSA infection, precautions will need to be taken to prevent the spread of the bacteria.
Stopping It from Being Spread to Others
When a person is diagnosed with a staph infection it may be necessary to isolate the infected person, especially if there will be contact with people at risk for infection. Caregivers should use universal procedures to prevent acquiring this type of infection and reduce the risks of passing the infection between patients. Other ways to prevent spreading MRSA and other staph infections is to do the following:
- Have a strong immune system (How A Compromised Immune System Can Cause Staph Infection?)
- Sanitize shared surfaces
- Wear clothes only once
- Cover breaks in the skin
- Diagnose and treat colonization
- Do not share personal hygiene items
- Wash bedding often
- Use towels, wash clothes only once
These precautions will prevent others from getting MRSA infection. These bacteria not only can be spread from person to person, it can also spread to other parts of the body. Prompt treatment with effective antibiotics will reduce the risk of complication that can become life threatening.
Preventing Staph Infection Complications
To prevent complications from staph infections, prevention is the key. Sometimes when following preventive guidelines, an infection can occur. Prompt treatment will prevent complication. The most serious complication of a staph infection is getting an infection from staph bacteria that are resistant to antibiotic treatment (MRSA). When a staph infection is suspected, tests will be done to diagnose the infection. Prompt treatment will help prevent complications from occurring. All parts of the body are susceptible to staph infections.
Staying healthy (Preventing Infections By Eating Healthy) and following preventive guidelines will help prevent the spread of the bacteria to others and within the body of the person who is infected.