The young player previously played hockey for West Springfield High School and was most recently playing for the Northern Virginia Scholastic Hockey League (NVSHL), which plays all over the area.
The young student was reportedly rushed to the hospital this past Saturday, Sept. 21, where friends say he is in serious condition but is expected to recover.
In the week leading up to the player's diagnosis - when the MRSA infection was likely in its "incubation period" - the player reportedly played at at least three different area rinks, including the Mount Vernon Ice Rink at 2017 Belle View Blvd. in Alexandria, the Fort Dupont Ice Arena at 3779 Ely Pl. SE in D.C., and the Tucker Road Ice Rink at 1770 Tucker Road in Fort Washington, Md.
In light of the incident, NVSHL representatives sent a memo to all of its families apprising them of the incident and cautioning them as to the risks of MRSA, and how they can prevent other students from contracting it.
What Is MRSA?
MRSA stands for Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explains is "a type of staph bacteria that is resistant to many antibiotics."
According to the CDC, "In the community, most MRSA infections are skin infections. In medical facilities, MRSA causes life-threatening bloodstream infections, pneumonia and surgical-site infections."
MRSA is often found in sports situations, where students sweat in close quarters and share equipment - especially if students don't properly clean their uniforms or shoes after playing.
MRSA can spread when people share towels, razors, or if an open wound becomes infected. MRSA-infected wounds can also happen on places on the body where uniforms or equipment cause skin irritation or increased rubbing.
Other common places MRSA can be contracted or spread is daycares, schools, military barracks, and other similar places, according to the CDC's website.
What Does an MRSA Infection Look Like?
According to the CDC, MRSA infections in the early stages are often mistaken for a spider bite. It can appear as a red, swollen bump that may be warm to the touch.
Particularly if a bump like this persists and does not heal, or is accompanied by a fever, the sufferer should contact a doctor.
How Can One Help Prevent MRSA Infections?
The CDC offers these tips:
- Maintain good hand and body hygiene. Wash 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.
- Athletes should shower as soon after a workout, game or practice as possible.
In light of the incident, many local players and coaches are trying to spread awareness of MRSA and how easily it can affect local athletes and students.
The NVSHL's statement to local families encouraged parents and players "to exercise proper hygiene by washing hands, keeping wounds covered, and showering after games and practices."
"Please seek immediate medical attention if you have any questions or concerns about the health of your player," the statement read.
TELL US - Have you ever had any experiences with MRSA? Are you concerned about MRSA in local sports situations? Tell us your thoughts in the comments.
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