If you work out at a gym or health club know this: The dirty towels, filthy locker rooms, and sweat-drenched equipment can harbor a deadly type of bacteria. It's called MRSA, and it's a dangerous type of staph infection.
According to the Denver Channel .com, this infection, which was once confined to hospitals, has now spread to health clubs and locker rooms. It's even made its way into the locker room of the Denver Broncos!
The super bug lives on the skin or in the nose of healthy people. When it stays there, it's fairly harmless. But with the slightest cut on the skin, MRSA can enter the bloodstream. And since it's antibiotic-resistant, it can be deadly.
The Centers for Disease Control says MRSA can attack anyone. And it's almost always spread by direct physical contact - not through the air. It can also spread indirectly by touching objects that have been contaminated by someone with the disease, like gym equipment. It begins as a small pimple on the skin, and at this stage can be treated with antibiotics.
But if left untreated, it can develop into a boil or open wound, and may lead to pneumonia and other serious infections, and even death.
The best way to protect yourself is to take a good shower after a gym workout and practice good hygiene. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, and wash your gym clothes and towels often. Also, clean any wounds or scratches immediately, keep your cuts covered with bandages and of course, avoid contact with others' wounds.
And if you think you might be infected with MRSA, get a hold of your doctor immediately. You don't want it to develop into something that keeps you out of the gym permanently.