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About Us - Our performance - Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) - How to stop the spread


1. Practice good hand hygiene.

This is the most effective way to stop the spread of the bacteria. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is mainly spread by unwashed hands.


Wash hands frequently, especially:

• after visiting the washroom,
• before handling, preparing, serving or eating food,
• when hands look or feel dirty,
• after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing,
• when providing care to an ill person,
• when visiting a hospital or long-term care home,


Use a hand sanitizer when handwashing facilities are not available and hands are not visibly soiled. When using a hand sanitizer, apply enough to wet the entire hand and rub solution into hands until completely dry.


2. Clean the environment. 

In addition to practicing good hand hygiene, thoroughly clean the person’s environment (bedroom, bathroom, equipment) to prevent further spread of the organism. Use an all purpose household cleaner and follow the directions on the label.


Be sure to:

  • Remove any visible feces (stool) prior to starting the cleaning process.

  • Always clean in the direction of least soiled to heaviest soiled areas.

  • Wet the surface well and clean using good friction.

  • Pay special attention to frequently touched surfaces and areas that may be soiled with feces such as the toilet and sink. For heavily soiled areas you may want to disinfect the area using a solution of 5 ml (1 teaspoon) of household bleach mixed with one litre of water. Apply the solution to the surface after cleaning and allow surface to air dry.

Note: No special precautions are required for handling dishes or waste.


3. Clean clothes/fabric. 

Wash clothes/fabric separately if they are heavily soiled with feces:

  • rinse off feces,
  • clean in a hot water cycle with soap,
  • dry items in the dryer on high heat if possible, or
  • dry clean where appropriate.

4. Use antibiotics wisely. 

To limit the development of new antibiotic resistant organisms, we all have to use antibiotics properly. It is important to:

  • Finish any antibiotics prescribed for you.
    Take all the antibiotics prescribed by your doctor even if you feel better before they are gone. If you do not take all of your antibiotics, some of the stronger bacteria will not be killed and these may develop antibiotic resistance.

  • Use antibiotics only for serious bacterial infections. 
    Antibiotics do not kill viruses like influenza (the “flu”) and the common cold, and so you should not take antibiotics for them. By taking an antibiotic when it is not needed, you could be helping the bacteria in your body to develop resistance to that antibiotic.

  • Only take antibiotics prescribed for you.
    Do not share them with others who have a similar illness.


Mackenzie Health / 10 Trench St. Richmond Hill, On. L4C 4Z3 / Richmond Hill Line: 905-883-1212 or Vaughan Line: 905-832-4554 / TTY Service: 905-883-2123