Prevention Information and Advice for Athletes: What To Do if You Think You Have MRSA

Prevention Information and Advice for Athletes: What To Do if You Think You Have MRSA


What To Do if You Think You Have MRSA

  • Tell your parent, coach, athletic trainer, school nurse, team doctor, or other healthcare provider if you think you have an infection so it can be treated quickly. Finding infections early and getting care will reduce the amount of playing time lost and decrease the chance that the infection will become severe.
    • Pay attention for signs of infections such as redness, warmth, swelling, pus, and pain at sites where your skin has sores, abrasions, or cuts. Sometimes these infections can be confused with spider bites.
    • Infections can also occur at sites covered by body hair or where uniforms or equipment cause skin irritation or increased rubbing.
  • Do not try to treat the infection yourself by picking or popping the sore.
  • Cover possible infections with clean, dry bandages until you can be seen by a healthcare provider (e.g., doctor, nurse, athletic trainer).


Prevention Steps for Athletes

Practice good personal hygiene

In addition to practicing good personal hygiene, athletes and visitors to athletic facilities should also do the following:

  • Keep your hands clean by washing frequently with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand rub.
    • At a minimum, hands should be cleaned before and after playing sports and activities such as using shared weight-training equipment, when caring for wounds including changing bandages, and after using the toilet.
    • Both plain and antimicrobial soap are effective for hand washing, but liquid soap is preferred over bar soap in these settings to limit sharing.
    • If hands are not visibly dirty and sinks are not available for hand washing, for example, while on the field of play or in the weight-room, alcohol-based hand rubs and sanitizers can be used. Alcohol-based hand rubs with at least 60% alcohol content are preferred.
  • Shower immediately after exercise and do not share bar soap or towels.
  • Wash your uniform and clothing after each use. Follow the clothing label’s instructions for washing and drying. Drying clothes completely in a dryer is preferred.