MRSA Facts

MRSA bacterium.

Infection Facts and Prevention

Staph infections, including Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, have spread through schools nationwide in recent weeks. According to the Centers for Disease Control, MRSA does not respond to penicillin and related antibiotics but can be treated with other drugs.

The infection is not airborne. It can be spread by skin-to-skin contact or by sharing an item used by an infected person, particularly one with an open wound. 

Centenary College is taking several steps to preclude the spread of the bacterium:

  1. The entire athletic center, including the lockers, will on Sunday be power washed with “Disarm,” a broad spectrum, hospital-grade disinfectant.
  2. The weight room will be closed on Sunday so that it may be disinfected. When it reopens on Monday, supervisors will be even more vigilant in requiring that patrons disinfect the equipment by using the disinfectant and special towels provided.
  3. Although they have always been washed in disinfectant and hot water after each use, all of the “soft goods,” (towels, etc.) used by the Trainers have been discarded and new materials purchased.
  4. Athletic equipment that can be disinfected will be treated before it is used on Sunday or Monday.  That equipment which can not be treated has been discarded.
  5. Persons who wish to consult a physician should call Health Service on Monday morning at x2206 to schedule an appointment for Monday afternoon.  All should know that the Centers for Disease Control, the State Department of Health and Senior Services as well as Warren County Health Department are unanimous in NOT recommending a nasal swab unless a person has consulted their personal care practitioner and is exhibiting a variety of symptoms.   Physical proximity to an infected person is not of itself reason to be tested.
  6. We have arranged for Dr. Edward McManus to be on campus to answer any questions you have. He will be here this Monday, October 22 at 4:00 pm in Whitney Chapel  Dr. McManus  has served as a clinical fellow at the National Institutes of Health in the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases from 1986 through 1989 and has been an Infectious Diseases consultant in private practice since 1989.

Dr. McManus was elected a fellow of the American College of Physicians and is a member of the Infectious Disease Society of America, the Infectious Disease Society of New Jersey, the Society of Hospital Epidemiologists of America, and the International Society of Travel Medicine.

Ultimately, however as the Star Ledger said today, “common-sense hygiene goes a long way to reducing the risk.

  • It is incredibly low-tech, but you should wash your hands and exposed areas of the body frequently during the day using hot (not scalding) water and antibacterial soap or alcohol based hand cleaners.
  • Do your wash! Laundry should be done regularly and particularly athletic clothing should be washed after each use.
  • Bed sheets should be washed immediately after another has slept in your bed.
  • All clothing or other objects that contain blood or other body fluid should be promptly disposed of.
  • Cover all wounds completely and properly, and if necessary, exclude yourself from physical contact or behavior that may place others at risk.
  • DO NOT share personal items such as bar soap, towels, sheets and/or sports equipment
  • Avoid cosmetic body shaving.  Shaving causes small cuts in the skin, increasing the risk of colonization and infection due to staphylococci.
  • Utilize cleaning materials that are recommended for the type or bacteria/viruses that present the risk.
  • Seek the assistance and expertise of the Centenary College Health Center, or the Athletic Trainers whenever you identify a potential area of concern.

If you have additional concerns or questions regarding MRSA or Centenary's response, please contact:

The Rev. David L. Jones
Vice President for Student Engagement and Service

To top