D.C. United midfielder Santino Quaranta has been in the hospital for four days after checking in to be treated for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). His club used
Monday's off day to sanitize the team's RFK Stadium locker room facilities. That measure alone isn't expected to be a silver bullet that will protect against the dangerous and sometimes lethal strain
of staph bacteria that Quaranta contracted.
Quaranta's is the first case of MRSA in MLS this season. The league had one reported case last year. In the past five years, the NFL Washington Redskins and NBA Wizards -- and before that, Fairfax County Public Schools -- enlisted outside help from Coating Specialists, a company that provides antimicrobial treatments to surfaces and facilities.
MLS also has been aggressive in its battle, using an ongoing medical consultant, Dr. Leon Smith, who specializes in MRSA. Training personnel for every team were lectured at a recent conference on procedures, recommended products and best practices. Those guidelines were reemphasized of late due to concerns over the H1N1 flu virus.
"A lot of this is reinforcing to the guys that they've got to use the hand-sanitizers, they've got to wipe the machines when they're done," said United general manager Dave Kasper. "They've got to make sure that they're educated on this thing, that what happened to Tino can happen very quickly where you may think you have a minor skin irritation, but it can happen very quickly where all of a sudden you have to get rushed to the emergency room."