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October 9, 2006

Other Illnesses

Question from Clinton, Arkansas, USA:

My 16 year old son has had type 1 diabetes for nine years. Recently, like many areas of the country, we are experiencing outbreaks of CA-MRSA among our football players, my son being no exception. He has had it three times in four months. When he returned from football camp, he could hardly walk due to cellulitis in his lower calf. I am frustrated and scared. To get rid of these infections, he has had several rounds of clindamycin and I.V. Rocephin. Does the risk of serious problems increase each time he contracts this? What are the consequences of repeatedly contracting MRSA for a diabetic? I'm also curious to know if there is a higher chance of amputation or tissue loss for the otherwise healthy diabetic child that has MRSA. There is one boy on our team who has had this seven times in the past year (his parents have now made him quit the team). This can't be safe, but the school seems to be unconcerned, as nothing is being done on their end.

Answer:

Is the local health department aware of this situation and the recurring MRSA infections? I’d get them involved RIGHT AWAY! Something needs decontamination and sterilization!

If the child is in sub-optimal control of his diabetes, then he could have increased susceptibility to infections (not just methacillin-resistant Staph aureus [MRSA]).

I am not aware of increased amputations regarding recurrent MRSA infections in otherwise healthy individuals. Please contact your local health department or the Infectious Disease division of your state’s School of Medicine. I do not know if this is a situation whereby the Centers for Disease Control would warrant notification.

DS