Thursday, May 31, 2012

MRSA, Staphylococcus aureus and Gym Surfaces

Just the other day I was asked about the risk of a 'staph' infection from working out a gym. 


We investigated surfaces in our university gym for staphylococcal burden. The study was recently published in the American Journal of Infection Control.  In brief, we were unable to identify MRSA on the gym surfaces sampled, however, we did find Staphylococcus aureus.


It is possible to acquire Staphylococcus aureus and MRSA in athletic facilities. The risk is probably small. The wiping down of gym surfaces after each use and attention to handwashing after exercise should mitigate the risk of colonization and infection. For information from the CDC on the prevention of MRSA in athletic facilities, click here


The benefits of regular exercise far outweigh the risk of a gym-acquired staphylococcal infection so don't invoke the fear of contagion as an excuse for skipping a workout.

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