Two years ago, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers saw at least three players sidelined with Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections.

Staphylococcus aureus Image/CDC
Staphylococcus aureus

Earlier this week, New York Giants tight end, Daniel Fells was reported as hospitalized and placed on injured-reserve due to an infection with the antibiotic resistant bacterium.

Giants coach, Tom Coughlin said Wednesday, “We are concerned about Daniel Fells, we’re very concerned about that,” Coughlin said. “We still do not know the reason for the infection or where it came from. But the players were all obviously very supportive of Daniel.

This week, the areas in the Quest Diagnostics Training Center most commonly used by the players – including the locker room, training room and meeting rooms where the players work – were thoroughly and professionally cleaned.

Like the Bucs of two years ago, the Giants are working with the Duke Infection Control Outreach Network (DICON) to set up protocols concerning MRSA prevention and control.

Related: Duke team distributes infection prevention manual to all 32 NFL teams

MRSA infections among athletes is not only found in professional sports, but also at the collegiate and high school level.

On Monday, we reported that several male baseball players and at least one female crew member at Yale University were also infected with MRSA.

Earlier this week, Yale health officials released the following statement about MRSA:

“Periodically we have had small clusters of MRSA skin infection involving people who share athletic equipment and/or have other skin-to-skin contact. This is not uncommon in college sports, gyms and other related settings. Affected patients are treated as appropriate with antibiotic therapy.”

The latest from a Yale News report today stated the University has neglected to officially notify all student-athletes of the infection’s presence on campus. Yale Health Director Paul Genecin said he does not see “an official need” to notify the Yale community of an infection at this time.

Several athletes have expressed concern about the MRSA situation on campus.

In Suring, MI, school district officials appear to be more open about a MRSA cluster found in at least three Suring HS football players.

The high school is notifying parents and working with the Oconto County Department of Health and Human Services to deal with the infections.

In addition, school officials have said the school is being cleaned top-to-bottom.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a type of staph bacteria that is resistant to certain antibiotics called beta-lactams. These antibiotics include methicillin and other more common antibiotics such as oxacillin, penicillin, and amoxicillin.

MRSA in the community is widespread and therefore, anyone is at risk. Most people who get MRSA in the community get infections of the skin. Factors that have been associated with the spread of MRSA skin infections include: close skin-to-skin contact, openings in the skin such as cuts or abrasions, contaminated items and surfaces, crowded living conditions, and poor hygiene. People may be more at risk in locations where these factors are common, including: athletic facilities, dormitories, military barracks, correctional facilities, and daycare centers.

MRSA Information for Coaches, Athletic Directors, and Team Healthcare Providers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Robert Herriman is a microbiologist and the Editor-in-Chief of Outbreak News Today and the Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch

Follow @bactiman63