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MRSA -- follow-up question

Question
[Background: the questioner's 19-moth-old son has CF; she is worried that her partner's grandmother might have MRSA and was asking for advice. Among other things, the expert recommended for the grandmother to have nasal and throat swabs done in order to rule out or prove MRSA.]

Hello,

many thanks for your answer. As for the general practitioner -- this is our problem exactly, because they [the questioner's mother in-laws] will not do it. They are letting us down completely and just smile at the whole thing.

However, I am wondering: if my partner visits his mother, who spends a lot of time with the sick grandmother after all, should he do the 3x30-second hand disinfection routine too when he comes home? We do not visit with the grandmother at all anymore, but we do meet the grandfather. How dangerous can this contact be? (He always wants to stroke my son's face, which I do not allow him.)

Again, many thanks for your effort.
Answer
Hello,

Staphylococcus aureus is mostly transmitted via the hands. From there, the germs can colonize the whole body and especially the frontal nose in healthy and sick people alike. They settle in the nose without any symptoms ever occuring. From there, they are spread via the hands to other areas of the body and possibly to other people. To make sure that the germ has not been transmitted onto your partner during a visit with the grandmother, he should absolutely do a proper hand hygiene right after the visit by disinfecting his hands with a hand sanitizer.

Since staphylococcae also spread within the family, it is not safe to say that the grandfather has not been colonized by the grandmother's germ. As long as MRSA colonization cannot be ruled out, even affectionate contact such as stroking the face should be stopped. After all, via the stroking of the face, the germ could easily reach your son's nose and subsequently his respiratory tracts as well.

Kind regards
Barbara Kahl
09.09.2010
9.9.10 Please see also comments and toughts about this topic under Topics--MRSA-- "MRSA and the environment". D. d'Alquen