This isn’t a surprise, but hygiene is of the utmost importance if you don’t want your crowded, public place to be a breeding ground for MRSA. New strains are still emerging, and the occasional outbreak affects gyms and schools (and, very often, gyms within schools). The CDC wants the public informed and an active part of stopping the spread of this potentially deadly disease.
You probably don’t want to hear this after signing up for that New Year’s special gym membership, but gyms are a hotbed for MRSA (and other pathogens like fungi). Athletes are more prone to having an open wound that can host an infection (or even just sweat caused acne) and shared equipment can spread disease. Even major sports leagues have suffered from MRSA outbreaks!
Luckily, most gyms (at least where we’re at) have caught on. Paper towels and cleaning sprays are available so you can clean equipment when you’re done (or before you start, if you’re distrusting). I also recommend investing in your own gear, like yoga mats, whenever possible.
Schools are a different problem. With far more problems needing attention than the possibility of MRSA, it’s hard to trust that coaches and teachers will make it a priority. You have to instill hygiene in your kids. Pack a mini first aid kit in their gym bag, and make sure they know how to clean wounds (just don’t give them any aspirin/tylenol—most schools have a zero-tolerance policy that could land them in boiling hot water). If schools haven’t changed much in the ten years since I’ve been there, I doubt you’ll have to explain how dirty school gyms and bathrooms are—just make sure your kids have the tools they need to take care of themselves.
Speaking of keeping wounds healthy, colloidal silver has been used for centuries to help skin heal, especially for minor burns and scrapes. Whether you’re an athlete or just taking care of yourself, throw some in your gym bag.
MRSA can look like a big pimple or other small wound that doesn’t heal. If something isn’t normal, get it looked at!