By Mitch Holt, Copy Editor
Staph infections have become a recent regularity on campus, and it’s taking the form of a new antibiotic-resistant skin infection.
Dr. Tony Rector, medical clinic doctor, said students and faculty need to be aware of the infection, which often takes the form of a pimple or growth and is not uncommon to locker rooms or other places with a high bacteria concentration.
The infection, also called MRSA, may rapidly grow in size, look like a pimple and be warm when touched. The most common areas for the infection are heat-intensive places like the armpit or groin.
Skin to skin contact can, in fact, spread the infection from person to person, and the shaving of body hair increases the chances of receiving the infection. Rector said when one shaves, he or she creates a nic or scratch that sometimes provides an entrance for the Staph infection.
Rector said the reason for awareness is because the number of cases at ACU has grown considerably since last year, with a total of 15 cases so far this school year.
“If you have a growth that is read, tender, large and/or warm, come in as soon as possible,” he said. “Two years ago, these cases were more common among athletes, but this year it has gone back and forth between athletes and non-athletes.”
According to MedScape Today, Staph is such a common bacteria that it hardly “raises an eyebrow within health surfaces,” but the bacteria is making a comeback in the form of MRSA and poses a considerable health threat. The bacteria is easily transmittable and can lead to serious infections.
Rector said several things can be done to prevent MRSA: avoid sharing towels and washrags; when shaving, be extremely careful and sanitary and don’t share razors; wash hands frequently; and practice basic personal hygiene.
He said he doesn’t want to cause hysteria, but it’s something that can cause pain and suffering, and people at ACU have gone to the hospital because of this.
“I just want people to be aware of it,” Rector said. “People think it’s a hair infection, but they need to treat it immediately and treat it for what it is.”