MRSA Spread Prevention

If I have a staph, or MRSA skin infection, what can I do to prevent others from getting infected?
You can avoid spreading staph or MRSA skin infections to others by following these steps:
  • Avoid sharing personal items.
    Avoid sharing personal items such as towels, washcloths, razors, clothing, or uniforms that may have had contact with an infected wound or bandage.
  • Clean your bathroom and personal items.
    MRSA bacteria can live on surfaces for days, weeks, and months. Clean surfaces frequently and apply disinfectant. Bleach solution is an easy-to-make, inexpensive disinfectant. Mix one tablespoon bleach to one quart of water. The solution needs to be made fresh each day. Never mix bleach with any cleaners containing ammonia. Disinfectants are also widely available in stores. Be sure that the label reads disinfectant (that kills Staphylococcus aureus) and follow instructions for use. Wash sheets, towels, and clothes that become soiled with hot water and bleach when possible. Drying clothes in a hot dryer, rather than air-drying, also helps kill bacteria.
  • Cover wounds.
    Keep infected areas covered with clean, dry bandages. Pus from infected wounds is very infectious. If you have a skin infection or wounds with drainage that cannot be contained by bandages or dressings, you should stay home from work, school, gyms, or daycare until the drainage can be contained.
  • Talk to your doctors.
    Tell any healthcare providers who treat you that you have or had a staph or MRSA skin infection.
  • Wash your hands.
    You, your family, and others in close contact should wash their hands frequently with soap and warm water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, especially after changing bandages or touching infected skin. Throw used dressings away promptly.