WASHINGTON − This fall, as children across the country head back to school and hit the sports’ fields, there may be one unexpected opponent on their schedule – MRSA.
MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) is a potentially life-threatening antibiotic resistant Staph infection that is becoming increasingly common in places like locker rooms, gyms and schools and it affects more than 90,000 Americans every year.
That is why seven-time NBA all-star, Grant Hill, teamed up with others who have experienced MRSA first-hand and MRSA experts, to launch STOP MRSA Now, a coalition dedicated to coaching others on practical steps to help defeat this unexpected opponent.
“When I was diagnosed with an MRSA infection, it was hard to get information about the illness or even how to help prevent the spread of it,” said Grant Hill, STOP MRSA Now member. “This infection is becoming an issue in community settings across the country and that is why, as an athlete and a father, I am joining STOP MRSA Now to offer a playbook on prevention so that everyone can get in the game to help reduce the spread of MRSA.”
The STOP MRSA Now Playbook
Although there is still much research to be done about MRSA, STOP MRSA Now members are urging others to help reduce the spread of MRSA with the following five-point plan, from the STOP MRSA Now playbook:
- Scrub up – Wash hands for at least 15 seconds (enough time to sing “Happy Birthday” twice), or use an alcohol-based hand rub sanitizer
- Wipe it down – Use a bleach solution to disinfect surfaces (1 tablespoon of disinfecting bleach diluted in 1 quart of water)
- Cover your cuts – Keep any nicks or wounds covered until healed
- Keep to yourself – Do not share personal items
- Use a barrier – Keep a towel or clothing between skin and shared equipment
The STOP MRSA Now playbook, developed by a panel of MRSA experts, is available at the coalition Web site, www.stopmrsanow.org, and also provides:
- Easy-to-understand information about MRSA, what it is and how it spreads
- Setting specific prevention information for public places including athletic facilities, childcare centers and schools
- How-to information for disinfecting surfaces, proper hand washing techniques and more
Home Court is Where the Heart Is
In addition to the playbook and information about MRSA, the online home of STOP MRSA Now provides information about the heart of the coalition – the members. Coalition members’ experiences with MRSA are featured on the Web site to help community members understand the increasing threat posed by MRSA and the need for education.
“People can carry MRSA without any symptoms and can transmit MRSA to others, especially in community settings," said Everly Macario, STOP MRSA Now member, whose healthy 1 1/2 year-old son, Simon Sparrow, died suddenly in 2004 from MRSA. "That is why we owe it to our children, families, and communities to learn more about MRSA and how to reduce the spread of it."
About STOP MRSA NOW
STOP MRSA Now is a coalition of community members who have experienced first-hand the threat of MRSA and MRSA experts who are committed to working together to reduce the spread of MRSA in community settings and to educate community members on MRSA prevention.
STOP MRSA Now coalition members are taking an active role in helping prevent the spread of MRSA by providing educational materials to their communities, distributing a national public service announcement and offering an opportunity for community members to have questions about MRSA answered online at www.stopmrsanow.org
For more information about STOP MRSA Now, visit www.stopmrsanow.org.
MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) is a potentially life-threatening antibiotic resistant Staph infection. Staph is found on the skin and in the nose. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2005, nearly 19,000 Americans died from MRSA infections. During the same year, there were 134 cases of MRSA in children.
About The Clorox Company
The Clorox Company is committed to helping prevent the spread of MRSA. As part of this commitment, Clorox is honored to support the STOP MRSA Now coalition to educate community members about the importance of understanding more about MRSA and how they can help prevent the spread of MRSA in their community.
Founded in 1980, The Clorox Company Foundation has awarded cash grants totaling more than $73.9 million to nonprofit organizations, schools and colleges. In fiscal 2008 alone, the foundation awarded $4.2 million in cash grants, and Clorox made product donations valued at $10.2 million. For more information about Clorox, visit www.TheCloroxCompany.com.