Here's what to watch for and steps to stay healthy.
A new report from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that the number of deaths caused by MRSA staph infections in the U.S. may soon surpass the number of deaths caused by AIDS, writes The Associated Press.
The Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) is resistant to most penicillin-based antibiotics and has an estimated mortality rate of 6.3% of those infected.
More than 90,000 Americans get potentially deadly infections each year from the bug (which has been labeled the “superbug” for its strong resistance to antibiotics), and early figures estimate the bug claims 18,650 lives annually. AIDS killed an estimated 17,011 Americans in 2005.
Though the number is only an estimate (researchers are not certain MRSA was the main cause of death in all cases), the findings underscore the need for better prevention measures.
Staph can be carried around innocuously by healthy people, living on their skin or in their noses, but open wounds and exposure to medical equipment are easy ways for the bug to enter the bloodstream and cause an infection.
So what does this mean for you?
It’s the easy steps that can keep this dangerous bug from infecting people. Always remember to wash your hands both before and after every service, and always clean and disinfect implements and pedicure tubs.
MRSA has struck salons before. In 2006, a woman in Texas died from a MRSA infection after receiving a pedicure where a small cut was made on her heel from a pumice stone. She noticed the infected wound and went to a doctor for medical treatment. After repeated rounds of antibiotics, the infection did not go away and she died seven months later of a heart attack that doctors on her legal team said was a direct result of the strengthening MRSA infection.