Assessment of Athletic Health Care Facility Surfaces for MRSA in the Secondary School Setting

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Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) was once largely a hospital-acquired infection, but increasingly, community-associated MRSA (CA-MRSA) is causing outbreaks among otherwise healthy people in athletic settings. Secondary school athletic trainers, student athletes, and the general student population may be at elevated risk of MRSA infection. To identify the prevalence of MRSA on surfaces in high school athletic training settings, 10 rural high school athletic training facilities and locker rooms were sampled for MRSA. Results showed 90% of facilities had two or more positive MRSA surfaces, while one school had no recoverable MRSA colonies. Of all surfaces tested (N = 90), 46.7% produced a positive result. From this limited sample, it is evident that significant exposure opportunities to MRSA exist in athletic training clinics and adjacent facilities for both the patient and the clinician. Furthermore, the findings point to the need for community hygiene education about skin and soft tissue infections like MRSA.

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