Competitive Athletes at Risk for “Superbug”

by Joy Keller on Jan 01, 2005

In the past, outbreaks of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) have been mainly connected with healthcare institutions. Recently, however, physicians have been seeing more infections— including skin boils and pneumonia—caused by drug-resistant bacteria.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that outbreaks among “players of close-contact sports” are occurring and cites recent cases confirmed by football players and wrestlers. According to the Infectious Diseases Society of America, MRSA is a concern because antibiotics prescribed only a few years ago typically no longer work.

Health and fitness professionals, especially those who work with sports teams, can help prevent the spread of staphylococcal skin infections by following these tips from the CDC:

  • Cover all wounds. If a wound can’t be covered adequately, consider excluding players with potentially infectious skin lesions from practice or competitions.
  • Encourage good hygiene, including showering and washing with soap after all practices and competitions.
  • Discourage sharing of personal items (clothing or equipment).
  • Establish routine cleaning schedules for shared equipment.
  • Train athletes in first aid for wounds and recognition of wounds that are potentially infected.
  • Encourage athletes to report skin lesions.

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About the Author

Joy Keller

Joy Keller IDEA Author/Presenter

Joy Keller is executive editor of IDEA Fitness Journal and IDEA Fit Business Success, and is also a certified personal trainer, indoor cycling instructor, yoga teacher (RYT 200) and Reiki Master. Joy joined IDEA Health & Fitness Association in 2002, and brought with her a wealth of information about how to fine-tune communication channels, after having spent her formative career years specializing in business-to-business journalism. Before she even graduated with honors from the respected University of Georgia journalism school, Joy was offered a job at one of the most successful trade publishing companies in the southeast, Shore Varrone, Inc. She made her mark in the automotive aftermarket industry as a creative thinker and journalist with an intuitive knack for researching and understanding niche audiences. Joy has worked on several titles, including Auto Trim & Restyling News, Truck Accessory News, Digital Output Magazine, Retail & Construction News, Miata magazine, Ford Racing, and many more. Her passion, however, lies with health and fitness. She was the associate editor of ACE Certified News while working at the American Council on Exercise, and transitioned that publication from a newsletter to a magazine. She has enjoyed 16 years at IDEA, where she has launched several publications, including the award-winning Inner IDEA Body-Mind Spirit Review, IDEA Pilates Today and IDEA Fit Business Success. Joy is a content creator and media 2.0 advocate who takes pride in discovering the unique information needs of qualified audiences, and she is dedicated to serving those needs while following the highest available standards.