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Tips on preventing staph infections

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Antibiotic-resistant staph infections, usually involving the skin, are showing up more often among healthy people. Here are some prevention tips:

— Wash hands thoroughly and often with soap and water.

— Keep cuts and abrasions clean and covered with a bandage until healed.

— Avoid contact with other people’s wounds or material contaminated by wounds.

— Do not share items such as razors, soap, ointments and balms, towels or wash cloths, clothing or uniforms.

— If participating in contact sports, cover cuts, scrapes and other wounds with a bandage.

— Shower with soap immediately after each practice or game. Wipe down all nonwashable equipment (mats, head protectors, gymnastics equipment, etc.) with alcohol or antibiotic solution after each person uses it.

— If caring for someone with an infection at home, wash hands with soap after each physical contact and before going outside. Only use towels for drying hands once. Change and launder linens frequently, right away if they are soiled.

— When contact with body fluids is expected, wear disposable gloves and wash hands after removing them.

— See a physician promptly if you have a suspicious skin sore or boil.

Sources: Associated Press, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, physician interviews.