“You know, really what we need to be talking about here is prevention, how to prevent it, how it’s also spread and things like that and also how to treat it because it is something that we do see crop in certain environments, not only sports athletes, but military daycare centers, places where there is – environment.”
Environment, Caudle said, includes friction and person-to-person contact, the kind often encountered in sports competitions or situations where someone may be in close contact with someone who has cuts or lesions on the skin, or sharing towels and personal products.
“So, remember, we have bacteria that just live on us. It’s sort of we like are colonized with it,” Caudle said in the interview. “With MRSA or Staph, we can actually be colonized with the bacteria. It doesn’t cause us any problems at all. The way that we can actually track the infection of MRSA, and we should also talk about the types of infections it causes. But if we have a break in the skin, it can cause the bacteria to get in and cause an infection.”
Hospital infections, Caudle said, tend to get into the bloodstream and can also cause pneumonia. Some infections occur at surgical sites, where incisions are made. Other infections can stem from simple human contact between otherwise healthy people.
The infections often look like some sort of bug bite, or a bad pimple. Without treatment, though, these skin infections can become severe.
But the risk of infection is not so severe that healthy people should feel that they have to give up sports or social events.
“The CDC says it’s OK to keep playing sports. We are talking multiple sports. Remember, wrestlers get this. Other sports players that have close contact. The CDC says it’s OK to keep playing as long as you keep the wound properly covered. No leakage, no drainage,” Caudle said. “The wound is not likely to get injured in playing the sport.”