MRSA Confirmed in Third Tampa Bay Buccaneers Player

This third case reportedly involves a rookie cornerback on the football team. A Duke Infection Control Outreach Network specialist spoke with the players and the team’s staff on Friday and answered their questions.

For the third time this year, a player for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers football team has been diagnosed with a methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection. Team General Manager Mark Dominik announced the diagnosis in an Oct. 11 news conference but declined to identify the player; Kevin Patra reported on www.nfl.com that he is Johnthan Banks, a rookie cornerback. Kicker Lawrence Tynes and guard Carl Nicks were diagnosed with MRSA in August.

Duke Infection Control Outreach Network Co-Director Dr. Deverick J. Anderson joined Dominik for the news conference. Anderson said the two earlier MRSA cases were unrelated to each other, and it's unknown at this time whether the third case is related to either of them. Anderson said he toured the team’s facilities three weeks ago and considers them safe, but he also said football is a known risk factor for MRSA.

"MRSA is very common," he said. "If you cultured every single skin infection that happened, you would find MRSA."

Dominik said the Buccaneers organization has worked hard to prevent infections. "The health, safety of our players is of the utmost importance. It [the MRSA outbreak] is something we've worked very strenuously with," he said.

He said Anderson spoke with the team's players and the team's staff on Friday and answered their questions about the disease.

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