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Staph Infection Warning Issued by Metro Health

Aug 23, 2006 | A staph infection is spreading in San Antonio and the Metropolitan Health Department wants parents to be on the lookout for it, especially since kids are back in school. But this is a warning for everybody.

It's not a pretty sight. It is a staph infection that can spread throughout your body in a matter of days.

It may start out looking like a minor skin problem.

"It can look like a spider bite" says Dr. Bryan Alsip, chief of Clinical Services for the San Antonio Metropolitan Health Department. "Sometimes even a mosquito bite or even a small cut that looks like it's infected."

It is called Methicillin Resistant Staph Aureus, or M.R.S.A.

Doctors say this type of staph is resistant to certain antibiotics, making it harder to treat.

It can easily spread between student athletes or kids on a school playground, where there is skin to skin contact.

"Anytime you bring people together in large groups, you're more likely to get infections and M.R.S.A. is certainly one of those," adds Dr. Alsip.

Since the beginning of the month, there have been more than 500 cases of M.R.S.A. reported at the eight Texas Med Clinics around San Antonio.

"M.R.S.A. is becoming more common in the communities and we're seeing larger numbers," says Dr. Alsip.

Dr. Alsip says aside from a skin lesion, parents should watch for symptoms like fever, soreness or redness around the infection. If you notice red streaks, that could be a sign the infection has spread to the blood stream.

So how do you prevent an M.R.S.A. infection? Doctors say washing your hands should protect you.

Dr. Alsip also says people who frequent gyms or saunas should watch out for any skin problems.

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