MRSA and colon cancer screenings

Seven's On Call with Dr. Jay Adlersberg
September 8, 2008 3:37:39 PM PDT
Federal health officials have a new, important message for parents. It's school time and mothers have a lot of organizing to do, but federal health officials want to remind mothers and parents to take care of cuts and wounds on their child's skin.

The concern is MRSA, the staph infection that in a small percentage of cases can turn deadly.

There have been deaths among school children, some of them in our area.

The Center for Disease Control began an effort to urge parents to protect their children. The call comes now because children are back in school and in close contact activities.

"Parents are first line of defense to protect them from spreading," Dr. Rachel Gorwitz explained.

Dr. Gorwitz says all parents need to know infections often look like an insect bite.

"They are painful red bumps on the skin. Sometimes, they can be draining puss," she said.

But if its not healing or there is also a fever, parents should have a health professional evaluate them.

Skin wounds, cuts or infections should be well covered, no matter what they are.

"Cleaning hands will go a long way to preventing these infections," Gorwitz added.

Learn more about MRSA by visiting the CDC's special website at www.cdc.gov/MRSA.

Colon Cancer Screening

Colonoscopies are a cancer screening tools that can save lives by finding cancers of the colon.

This year, nearly one-hundred-fifty-thousand Americans will learn that they have colon cancer.

But, many of them are not keeping up with their follow up tests.

A study in the journal Cancer followed 94-hundred survivors and found that more than a fourth of them were not having their follow up colonoscopies in the 3 years following their surgery.

Fewer than half of them had had the recommended blood tests.

Follow-up is important because survivors are often at risk of recurrence.

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