With people rushing to gyms to get fit for summer, there are some health concerns to keep in mind.
One of those is a bacteria called Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, otherwise known as MRSA.
It’s a type of bacteria that grows rapidly, and the most common places it’s contracted are in hospitals and gym settings where skin-to-skin contact is frequent.
Cases related to MRSA have been reported for decades, but local physicians tell KRIS 6 News they are seeing a growing number of patients infected with the bacteria.
“What MRSA has developed is basically a resistance to antibiotics, specifically the Penicillins, and that happened
basically in a hospital setting,” Dr. James Grieme said.
A MRSA infection can cause open sores on the body. Dr. Grieme says he treats those types of wounds at least four times a day.
This is a concern for local gym owners.
“There are bare feet using mats and it’s definitely contagious. We know this, so we want to keep people safe as they walk around barefoot,” Michelle Acebo, owner of the Yoga Studio of Corpus Christi says.
Acebo says her studio takes extra steps to ensure their clients are healthy.
“We prefer for people to bring their own mats and use their own equipment, but if they don’t, we have equipment here for them,” Acebo said. “When they’re finished, we ask them to use a Clorox wipe and wipe it down, and we also have a hanger outside so that it can actually dry.”
MRSA-related wounds may not look like an infection at first.
Doctors advise looking for inflamed or abscessed skin and seeking treatment immediately.
“If you get a break in your skin, for instance, you’re at jiu-jitsu and there’s staph aureus living on the mats, that bacteria gets into that little cut in your skin and starts to cause an infection,” Grieme said. “The most common thing is people think it’s a spider bite.”
KRIS 6 News contacted the Nueces County Health Department about the number of cases of MRSA reported in 2018, but were told the department does not track those type of those infections.
For more information on the MRSA bacteria, treatment options and prevention methods, visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s website here: https://www.cdc.gov/mrsa/index.html