OK...Living as an adult with primary immunodeficiency....I do not have MRSA, but a close friend of our family just came down with a bad case of it...she got poison ivy, and then couldn't get over it, she went to the doc, and they cultured it..MRSA -- face, arms, legs, trunk of her body...all over. The thing is, she seems to have no idea of how serious this is.
I did some web-research, and also talked with infection control nurse at my local hospital, and with the nurse at the health dept, and also got on the cdc.gov site with info about MRSA.I understand it is highly contagious by skin contact, and that it stays alive on surfaces for 4 months...so doorknobs, cell phones, etc. I am NOT a germ phobe, but I am IgG deficient, IgA, IgM, neutrophenia, and lymphocytopenic, and very confined to my house because I pick up infections so easily.
OK. Why I'm writing here...the question and dilemma I face is what to do with this friend. Thankfully she lives several states away, and doesn't visit a whole lot. But what happens? The bathroom? Food preparation? Towels, and linens? Insist she stay in a hotel? OK, that's a big dilemma. But here's a worse one...I do not travel. I am not healthy enough to, but some of my immediate family does, and they often visit her and stay in her house. It has been awhile...but what about her house? Is it contaminated? What about all of it?
The nurse at the health dept said that with my pidd that I shouldn't allow folks to sit on my cloth/upholstered furniture, because it couldn't be washed down. She also said that 1 out of every 3 people are carrying it, and don't even know they have it...and can unknowingly spread it around. Yes, handwashing is great, but she said, don't wash my hands before dinner, and then hold hands for grace, unless I want to get back up and wash my hands again before eating. A person with open sores is ever so much more contagious. And when the sores have healed, she will be a carrier, most likely.
Any one else dealing with this? MRSA is one thing I don't need! But having her feel like a leper doesn't sound humane. I'm having a difficult time sorting this out. My ID doc is VERY concerned about this, because he knows how long it takes me to get over infections... The difficult thing about this friend is that she doesn't seem to have a clue about how serious this is, and her not talking about it makes me feel like I can't broach the subject and figure out a protocul for how we are all going to handle this...her situation and my immune deficiency. And I don't want my family getting it from visits to her, and bringing it home to me. But maybe the family can get it anywhere...but entering a HOUSE where someone lives with MRSA..is that different?
I'm struggling with how to approach this. Compassionate thoughtful replies and suggestions are most welcomed.