I continue to see cases of community acquired methicillin resistant staph (caMRSA) in my practice. So, I just read an interesting article in this month’s Archives of Pediatrics about households contacts of children who had been diagnosed with caMRSA. 

It is well known that there outbreaks of caMRSA among members of a family, and this is thought to be due to close contact. It seems that some members of a household may not develop an infection, but may be asymptomatic carriers. 

Traditionally staph aureus colonization has been reported to occur most frequently in the nose. But this study looked at other areas of the body that might also be colonized with staph. 

Interestingly, 21% of household contacts of pediatric patients with a caMRSA infection were colonized with staph. In addition, parents of the patient were more likely to be staph carriers than other family members. It was also found that there was a high rate of staph carriage in the groin as well as beneath the arms. In the study nearly 1/4 of the study participants were colonized in the groin and not the nose.  

So.....the fact that household members might be have staph in other areas outside of the nose is clinically important.I often have all family members and household contacts use an antibiotic cream placed into the anterior portion of the nose to reduce staph carriage.  If indeed  there are other areas that are “guilty” of staph then those areas need to be targeted.  This might mean that dilute bleach baths are important for not only the child who has the staph infection but also for family members. 

Stay tuned for more, but after reading this article I think I may add another step for families who are dealing with caMRSA infections.  Get out the bleach!

That's your daily dose for today.  We'll chat again tomorrow.