Protect yourself from MRSA this winter

Posted at 6:32 PM, Oct 19, 2015
and last updated 2015-10-19 18:32:09-04

CINCINNATI -- It's cold and flu season, but doctors and health department officials are warning parents and schools about the possible risk of MRSA as cold weather gets colder.

MRSA -- or Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus -- is a skin infection that is spread through skin-to-skin contact.

And even among the most high-quality day care centers and schools, the risk for contracting MRSA is at its peak in the classroom, according to Cincinnati Health Department officials. Locker rooms are also a breeding ground for MRSA infections.

The trickiness of MRSA comes from its difficulty to detect and its resistance to antibiotics.

"The antibiotics that this bacteria used to be sensitive to is no longer sensitive to so it's much harder to treat," said Dr. Larry Holditch from the Cincinnati Health Department.

Recognizing MRSA infections is an important part of prevention, Holditch said. A MRSA skin infection can look like a boil, pimple or spider bite that may be red, swollen, painful, pus-filled and/or oozing, according to The Mayo Clinic.

To protect from and prevent the spread of MRSA, The Mayo Clinic recommends washing hands, taking showers, washing sports uniforms and clothes and covering wounds, cuts and scrapes with bandages.

Watch the video above for more information.