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Can MRSA Spread be Spread with a Toothbrush?

Maybe I am being paranoid, but when your baby has MRSA you can't afford to play around. I am faced with a very odd situation. The call has already been made to the pediatrician’s office to discuss this situation with him or his nurse assistant and in the meantime I will record it in a blog entry. It may seem that I’m going around the world to get to the point, but stick with me and you will see what’s bugging me.

Three days ago, I noticed that my little girl (the one who was infected with MRSA as a baby) was gnawing on something. Knowing that I had not given her a cookie, cracker or anything else as a snack, I set out to see what it was that she had in her mouth.

As it turned out, the yummy treat was my middle daughter’s toothbrush. How the baby managed to get it is a mystery. The only feasible explanation is that in the morning rush the older girls must have knocked it out of the toothbrush holder and onto the bathroom floor where the little one found it.

Even though I do my best to keep the facilities clean (MRSA will make a better housekeeper out of you when nothing else will!), the thought that one of my kids was chewing on something that had been kicked around on the bathroom floor was not exactly a pleasant thought. After failed attempts at cajoling her to relinquish her treasure willingly; I eventually had to forcibly remove it from her grasp. The results of this wrestling match were a screaming baby and a mommy that was late for an appointment. I threw the toothbrush on the bathroom counter by the sink, picked up my unhappy baby and headed out the door to see if I could manage to make it to my appointment without being more than a few minutes late.

While I was busy, my husband was responsible for picking the older girls up from a play date and preschool and feeding them their lunch. By the time the baby and I got home the rest of the family had eaten and was busy folding a basket of laundry. I couldn’t help but feel how lucky I was to drift in to find things so very under control. Mentally searching for what I needed to take care of while the rest of the crew was otherwise engaged; my mind drifted to the toothbrush incident and I remembered I had not cleaned it nor thrown it away.

I headed off to the bathroom to dig out a new toothbrush and throw the dirty one away. Imagine my surprise when I found that dad had not only fed the girls, but made sure that they brushed their teeth afterwards albeit with a nasty toothbrush. I’ve learned that it’s useless to cry over spilt milk so I just substituted the new brush and moved on.

Under normal circumstances that may have been the end of it except our middle girl woke up in the middle of the night screaming in pain saying that her mouth hurt. I took a look and sure enough there were blisters inside her cheeks (MRSA or something else?), the roof of her mouth and her gums looked red and inflamed.

Could this have resulted from using her sister’s toothbrush? We are cautioned not to use the razor belonging to a person with MRSA, but what about their toothbrush?
The baby has not got any active blisters at this time, but I want to hear it from the pediatrician that we don't need antibiotics as a preventative measure. Wish me luck.