CU Sees Rise In Reports Of Staph Infections

BOULDER Colo.

The University of Colorado is pulling some equipment from the recreation center following a rise in staph infections among students.

Staph infections, including the serious Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, have spread through schools across the nation recently, health and education officials say.

At CU, there have been eight reported cases of community-associated MRSA on the Boulder campus this school year. Typically, the Wardenburg Student Health Center reports six cases in an entire year.

Doctor Pamela Talley of Wardenburg said increased media attention about staph infections could be making people more aware of the symptoms and prompting them to visit doctors.

Lesions can be treated with antibiotics or by draining and cleaning the sores. All of the CU students treated at Wardenburg have responded well to treatment, Talley said.

The infection can be spread by skin-to-skin contact or sharing an item used by an infected person, especially if the person has an open wound.

CU spokesman Bronson Hilliard said custodians clean campus bathrooms with a hospital-grade disinfectant. Health officials are urging students and employees to frequently wash their hands, and signs have been posted encouraging student-athletes to clean their equipment frequently.

Some recreation center sports equipment, such as speed-bag boxing gloves, are being removed so that they don’t transmit staph infections. Other equipment, like racquets, will be sprayed with disinfectant after each use.

A stronger product than what is already used will be used to disinfect hockey equipment, officials said.



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