Multiple officers at the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) may have contracted MRSA, an antibiotic-resistant staph bacteria that can cause a highly contagious infection.
LAPD confirmed to several news agencies that some work areas may have been exposed to the bacteria but have since been disinfected. They did not provide any specific details about the exposure, reported Los Angeles Times.
LAPD officers may have been exposed to highly infectious MRSA bacteria https://t.co/GCVjZfoQYA
— L.A. Times: L.A. Now (@LANow) May 7, 2019
“The health, safety, and well-being of our Los Angeles Police Department officers is critical and we are ensuring the officers exposed to this disease are cared for,” LAPD said in a statement.
“First responders throughout the region and especially here in Los Angeles are constantly responding to incidents that put them at risk of potential exposure to various diseases, and that’s why the Department takes this incident very seriously,” they added.
Spokesman Josh Rubenstein told KTLA, “Because of [HIPAA] all we can say is there were health concerns and we have dealt with it.”
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)—a strain of staph infection often transmitted in health care facilitates—can be difficult to treat due to its resistance to some antibiotics. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), MRSA is commonly spread in the community by contact with infected people or items that are carrying the bacteria, for example through the contact of a contaminated wound, or by sharing personal items such as towels or razors.
Symptoms of an MSRA infection depend on the part of the body. Those who contracted an MRSA skin infection could see swelling, warmth, redness, and pain in infected skin. The infection could become severe and cause sepsis—a potentially life-threatening body response to an infection.
The CDC has offered a number of tips to prevent contract an MRSA infection as well as the spread of the disease.
How can I prevent an MRSA Infection?
You can take these steps to reduce your risk of MRSA infection:
- Maintain good hand and body hygiene. Clean hands often, and clean your body regularly, especially after exercise.
- Keep cuts, scrapes, and wounds clean and covered until healed.
- Avoid sharing personal items such as towels and razors.
- Get care early if you think you might have an infection.
How do I prevent the spread of MRSA?
- Cover your wounds with clean, dry bandages until healed.
Follow your healthcare provider’s instructions about proper care of the wound. Pus from infected wounds can contain MRSA.
- Do not pick at or pop the sore.
- Throw away bandages and tape with the regular trash.
- Clean your hands often.
You, your family, and others in close contact should wash hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand rub, especially:
- after changing a bandage
- after touching an infected wound
- after touching dirty clothes
- Do not share personal items such as towels, washcloths, razors, and clothing, including uniforms.
- Wash laundry before use by others and clean your hands after touching dirty clothes.