After discovering that tight end Daniel Fells has MRSA, a serious skin infection, the New York Giants are scrubbing down their facilities as a precaution against the extremely contagious and potentially deadly bacteria.
Fells, 32, was already being treated for an ankle issue when doctors discovered MRSA on his leg. He is expected to make a full recovery, according to ESPN, but this will end the season for him.
MRSA, which stands for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, is dangerous because it’s resistant to the antibiotics that are typically used to treat normal staph infections, according to the Mayo Clinic. It more commonly occurs among patients in hospitals or dialysis centers, but it can also show up in healthy people, especially in crowded settings like a locker room. This type, known as community-associated MRSA, often spreads via skin-to-skin contact and athletes, from high school wrestlers to pro-football players, are among the most at risk.
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In fact, two years ago, there was a MRSA outbreak among the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, which pulled three players out of their lineup that year. One was able to return to the team the next season, while the other two have not played since.
The Giants said that they’ve cleaned the locker room, training room, and all meeting rooms to be safe, as MRSA can spread incredibly quickly in these settings.
"We are working with infectious disease specialists, and we have defined protocols that we are following in consultation with the Duke Infection Control Outreach Network and local infectious disease specialists," team spokesman Pat Hanlon said in a statement on Tuesday. "Those protocols are being followed carefully."
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MRSA looks like a large, red pimple, and can feel painful and warm to the touch. Many people think it's a spider bite at first.
By definition, the normal antibiotics don't work on MRSA, but certain drugs can be used. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises doctors to drain the infection site and send the "specimen" (aka pus) out for testing to determine which antibiotics the infection might respond to.
Prompt medical attention for something that might be MRSA is important because the infection can spread from the skin to bones, lungs, and the bloodstream, which can spell a much more serious, life-threatening problem.
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