ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Folic Acid Might Offer Allergy Relief
Air Pollution May Raise Blood Pressure
Molecule in Skin May Link Eczema and Asthma
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Green Tea May Help Brain Cope With Sleep Disorders
No Verdict Yet on Grape Seed Extract vs. Breast Cancer
U.S. Spends Billions On Alternative Medicine
ANIMAL CARE
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
BONES & JOINTS
Vitamin C Protects Some Elderly Men From Bone Loss
A Winning Strategy to Beat Spring Sporting Injuries
Fall Sports Peak Time for Lower Leg Damage
CANCER
Hypnosis Cuts Hot Flashes for Breast Cancer Survivors
Yoga Eases Sleep Problems Among Cancer Survivors
Gene Screen May Predict Colon Cancer's Return
CAREGIVING
New Guidelines for Treating Heart Failure
Health Tip: Benefitting From Adult Day Care
Early Exercise Boosts Outcomes for ICU Patients
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Migraines in Pregnancy Boost Vascular Risks
Common Antioxidant Might Slow Parkinson's
Drink a Little Wine, Live a Little Longer
COSMETIC
Health Tip: After Liposuction
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
Gum Chewing May Cut Craving for Snacks
DENTAL, ORAL
Periodontal Disease Impacts Whole Health
Sports Drinks May Be Tough on Teeth
An Oral Approach to Heart Disease
DIABETES
Chamomile Tea May Ward Off Diabetes Damage
Brown Rice Bests White for Diabetes Prevention
Formula Puts Doctor, Patient Glucose Readings on Same Page
DIET, NUTRITION
TV Food Ads Promote Bad Diets
To Feel Better, Low-Fat Diet May Be Best
Memory Loss Help from Brain Supplement Prevagen
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Freckles, Moles May Indicate Risk for Eye Cancer
Seasons Arriving 2 Days Earlier, Study Says
Cats Can Trigger Eczema in Some Infants
EYE CARE, VISION
Music Can Help Restore Stroke Patients' Sight
Retinal Gene Is Linked to Childhood Blindness
It's a Whole New Outlook for Cataract Patients
FITNESS
As Temperature Plummets, It's Still Safe to Exercise
Vigorous Exercise Can Cut Breast Cancer Risk
Barefoot Best for Running?
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
GENERAL HEALTH
Swine Flu May Have Infected More Than 100,000 Americans
More Calcium And Dairy Products in Childhood Could Mean Longer Life
Chinese 'Devil Dung' Plant Could Be a Swine Flu Fighter
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Ingredient in Dark Chocolate Could Guard Against Stroke
Irregular Heartbeat Tied to Alzheimer's Disease
Quitting Smoking Doubles Survival in Early Stage Lung Cancer
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Loves a Crowd
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
More Medicinal Uses for Pomegranate
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Dangerous Toys Still on Store Shelves, Report Finds
Coconut Oil May Help Fight Childhood Pneumonia
Babies Who Eat Fish Lower Eczema Risk
MEN'S HEALTH
Low Iron Levels Cut Cancer Risk in Men With PAD
Countdown to Hair Loss
Drinking Green Tea May Slow Prostate Cancer
MENTAL HEALTH
Worries About Weight Are Tied to Teen Suicide Tries
A Little Alcohol May Stave Off Alzheimer's
Vitamin C Protects Some Elderly Men From Bone Loss
PAIN
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
For Baby and Mom Alike, Breast-Feeding May Be Best
Expectant Mom's Exercise Keeps Newborn's Birth Weight Down
Heart Defects in Newborns Linked to Antidepressants
SENIORS
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
15-Point Test Gauges Alzheimer's Risk
The Juice From Beetroots May Boost Stamina
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Flame-Retardant Chemical Linked to Conception Problems
Occaisonal Dieting May Cut Breast Cancer, Study Says
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
Add your Article

MRSA Infections Can Bug Fitness Buffs

WEDNESDAY, July 2 (HealthDay News) -- Before heading to the gym, you should brush up on how to protect yourself from a potentially deadly superbug, say doctors from Loyola University.

While infections from methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) usually occur in hospitals and health-care settings, they are on the rise in community locales, according to Jorge Parada, director of the infection control program at Loyola University Hospital in Maywood.

"There is no doubt that MRSA and other infections can be transmitted without direct person-to-person contact," Parada said in a prepared statement. "Although it's low, it is possible to catch MRSA by using shared gym equipment like free weights or exercise cycles. The first step in preventing the spread of any type of infection is awareness of the possibility."

Generally, 5 percent to 10 percent of people are infected with MRSA. The superbug can survive for hours, even days, on the surface of gym equipment and other inanimate objects, Parada said.

"If we were dealing with something that virtually nobody had, then it wouldn't be a big deal," Parada said. "The problem with the MRSA epidemic in the community is you don't know when you're going to touch something that somebody with MRSA touched."

The benefits of exercise outweigh the risks of catching MRSA, so Parada suggests taking these precautions:

* Use clothing or a towel as a barrier between your skin and shared equipment, such as weight-training machines, wrestling or yoga mats, and sauna and locker room benches.
* Insist your gym have antiseptic wipes readily available to clean equipment before and after each use.
* Cover any open wounds or sores with a bandage before working out. Keep the area clean.
* Never share personal items such as towels, clothing, swim wear, combs, soap, shampoo or shaving gear.
* Inquire how high-touch areas and equipment are being cleaned, how often and what type of cleanser is being used. If the gym provides towels, customers need to know if the gym washes and dries them in temperatures high enough to kill MRSA.

Finally, practice good personal hygiene in and out of the gym.

"Washing your hands a number of times a day is the best defense we have against MRSA infections. That simple act trumps everything else that you can do," Alex Tomich, an infection control practitioner at Loyola University Medical Center, said in a prepared statement. "And you should always make sure to shower after every workout."

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about MRSA.



-- Kevin McKeever



SOURCE: Loyola University Health System, news release, June 11, 2008

Last Updated: July 02, 2008

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