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MRSA, Not Just In Hospitals Anymore

The cases of invasive MRSA are now up 84%over the five year average in South Dakota.   MRSA is more commonly called a staph infection and is often resistant to common antibiotics.  So far this year  140 cases have been reported.    
State Epidemiologist Lon Keightlinger says the practice of basic hygiene, hand washing, and wound care are still the best defenses against  MRSA.
“It used to be 10 years ago or more MRSA was always associated with some health care, you’d go to the hospital and then you’d pick up these exotic bacteria.   But now they’re in the community.   We’ve had outbreaks in South Dakota where football teams or wrestling teams, they’d just get MRSA in the locker room and all the boys come down with it," says Kightlinger.
Kightlinger says an overuse of antibiotics is one of the problems that are leading to the rise of so-called “superbugs.”     
He says antibiotics should be used sparingly and not every time someone gets sick.   He notes they don’t work on viruses like the flu.    Kightlinger says the best defense against getting sick this winter is getting a flu shot.

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