Fact Sheet: CU-Boulder Community-Associated MRSA Cases, Status And Campus Response

first_img Published: Oct. 21, 2007 o Eight cases of community-associated MRSA, or Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus, have been diagnosed in students at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Two of the students live in residence halls and the remainder live off campus.o All of the CU-Boulder students have been treated at Wardenburg Health Center, have responded well to treatment and have been able to attend classes and function normally, showing no signs of side effects from the infection or their treatment, according to Dr. Pam Talley of the Wardenburg medical clinic. In some cases students have received follow-up treatment.o Health officials advise anyone who has a persistent or recurring skin lesion to see a health care provider. Skin infections may look like a pimple or boil and can be mistaken for “spider bites.”o The eight cases among CU-Boulder students, though not a high number, are higher than usual for the academic year to date. The eight student cases have been treated at Wardenburg Health Center since Aug. 17. o The CU-Boulder cases do not represent an “outbreak” and the majority of the eight cases do not appear to be related to each other. The case histories do not suggest a common source.o Typically the CU-Boulder health center treats about six cases in a year, Dr. Talley said. The increase at CU-Boulder appears to be part of state and national increases in reported cases of community-associated MRSA. Reported cases of community-associated MRSA are on the rise throughout the country.o The campus has taken steps to educate CU-Boulder students, faculty and staff about community-associated MRSA including the following:o Advisories are being posted in residence halls to educate students about community-associated MRSA infections and prevention methods. Similar warnings have been posted in all athletic facilities and common areas on campus.o A fact sheet has been posted on the main CU-Boulder home page and on the CU Connect student Web portal. Information also is posted on the Wardenburg Health Center’s Web site. A Q&A with Dr. Talley has been posted on the front page of Wardenburg’s Web site at www.colorado.edu/healthcenter/.o All residence hall restrooms are being cleaned with a hospital-grade disinfectant. All public and community restrooms in residence halls have two cleaning/disinfectant products: a hand-soap product recommended by Wardenburg Health Center and a hand sanitizer.o In the CU Recreation Center and in the team facilities used by student-athletes, advisories are being posted in workout areas advising more frequent cleaning of equipment. Some recreation center sports equipment thought to be conducive to transmitting infection, such as speed-bag gloves, is being withdrawn. Items that cannot be discontinued — such as racquet handles — will be sprayed with disinfectant after each use. Hockey equipment is already disinfected regularly but a stronger product will be used.o Training, education and cleanliness procedures are being stepped up among staff in appropriate areas. Custodians are reviewing cleaning protocols and disinfecting surfaces such as door knobs, phones and multiuser athletic equipment with warm water and soap, diluted bleach, Lysol, Original Pine Sol or other strong disinfectants. o In addition to advising all students, staff and faculty to follow good hand-washing and hygiene practices, health experts are advising people not to share personal items such as towels, razors, soap bars, washcloths and clothing.o Community-associated MRSA, or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, is a strain of staph infection that occurs in otherwise healthy people who have not been hospitalized or had an invasive medical procedure, such as surgery or dialysis, in the past year. Community-associated MRSA infections usually occur as skin infections, such as abscesses, boils and other pus-filled lesions that may appear to be ‘spider bites’ (see community-associated MRSA on the CDC Web site at: www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dhqp/ar_mrsa_ca.html).o News reports last week focused on health care-associated MRSA, which occurs among patients who have undergone invasive medical procedures or who have weakened immune systems and are being treated in hospitals and health care facilities such as nursing homes and dialysis centers. For more information on health care-associated MRSA go to: www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dhqp/ar_MRSA_spotlight_2006.html.o Factors that have been associated with the spread of community-acquired MRSA skin infections include close skin-to-skin contact, openings in the skin such as cuts or abrasions, contaminated items and surfaces, crowded living conditions and poor hygiene.o For more information on MRSA infections, please call the Wardenburg Health Center information line at (303) 492-8741 or visit the following links:Wardenburg Health Center Web page: www.colorado.edu/healthcenter/The Centers for Disease Control Web page:www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dhqp/ar_mrsa_ca_public.html – 8. Share Share via TwitterShare via FacebookShare via LinkedInShare via E-maillast_img read more