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Division of Health Warns Residents about MRSA
Release Date: October 22, 2007

While there is not an outbreak, the Sussex County Division of Health is taking steps to help people become more aware of the dangers of antibiotic resistant bacteria.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Stephen Gruchacz, Administrator
Department of Health and Human Services
973-579-0559 Ext. 1227

Sussex County Division of Health Warns Residents about MRSA

(Newton, N.J., October 18, 2007)

While there is not an outbreak, the Sussex County Division of Health is taking steps to help people become more aware of the dangers of antibiotic resistant bacteria. In the past, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureas (MRSA), a staph skin infection resistant to most antibiotics, was found mainly in hospitals and nursing homes. However, this "super-bug" is now being spread in places where there are crowds of people such as schools, gyms and jails. It has also become more common among young children and adults who have no history of medical problems and are seemingly healthy. In response to a national increase of MRSA, the Division of Health has put up a new website in the Health Topics section of http://www.sussex.nj.us/health, which contains links to guidelines, fact sheets, brochures and frequently asked questions that are available for download and print.

Staph bacteria are normally carried on the skin and nose of healthy people and are one of the most common causes of skin infection in the United States. The infection generally starts as small red bumps, similar to a spider bite, that turn into painful boils that require surgical draining. The symptoms may include redness, areas warm to the touch, pain, drainage, discomfort and swelling. Prompt medical attention is essential. Without treatment, the bacteria can cause infections in bones, joints, heart valves and lungs. Most staph infections are treatable with antibiotics. Health officials are most concerned about infections that do not respond to antibiotics once commonly used to treat them. The best way to prevent MRSA is to practice good hygiene, such as frequent hand washing.

For more information about MRSA, please contact the Sussex County Division of Health at 973-579-0370 or click to visit the Division of Health MRSA page.

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