Since 2000 there has been an increasing incident of MRSA infection in the community. Prior to this time most MRSA infection was mostly limited to health care facilities. Often children are brought to medical attention with a skin infection such as boil believing that they were bitten by a spider. It is estimated that greater than 30% of the general population now carry MRSA on their skin or in their nasal passages. Any time there is a break in the skin, such as from scratching the site of an insect bite, an abrasion or a laceration, there is the possibility of developing a MRSA infection.
Athletes are often at risk for MRSA because of not cleaning equipment properly, wearing sweaty clothes and the close contact they have with others which may have MRSA. Children who wear diapers or pull ups may be at increased risk due to the moist area in the diaper and the fact that there is often a breakdown of skin in the diaper region.
The majority of the infections that we see in healthy children involve the skin, but it can involve other organ symptoms such as blood and the lungs. In children with indwelling catheters, long term venous access, and other indwelling medical equipment, it can be a life threatening infection.
The prevention of this infection is under investigation by the CDC and other healthcare providers, and there is no one specific way to prevent infection. No single prevention approach is likely to work alone.