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Tampa MRSA outbreak not connected to staff member

Despite continuing rumors, medical expert told Tampa Bay players that the recent MRSA outbreak on the team is not connected to a staff member who had an infection Jason Cole

Print This October 17, 2013, 09:14 AM EST

In an attempt to quell fears of a further outbreak of MRSA on the team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have explained to players that a staff member with regular contact to players was not the likely source of the infection that has hit three players since the beginning of training camp.

Players were told last week that a member of the team’s staff was recently diagnosed with a staph infection. However, that strain of staph was not a form of MRSA. A doctor who has helped investigate the situation explained to the players that it’s highly unlikely that the staph infection from the staff member mutated into a MRSA infection that has shown up in kicker Lawrence Tynes, guard Carl Nicks and cornerback Johnthan Banks.

Dr. Deverick Anderson of the Duke Infection Control Outreach Network explained that to players last week. However, rumors continue to swirl outside the team that the staff member was the source of the outbreak. While MRSA is a mutated form of staph infection that is resistant to traditional antibiotics, Anderson explained to players and reporters that it does not generally mutate from one person to the next.

“That’s not typically how MRSA emerges,” Anderson said last week. “So typically we tend to think of them as being very distinctive from one another, it’s either MRSA or it’s not … We don’t really think of them mutating from one to the other.”

Tampa Bay General Manager Mark Dominik also said, “I am not aware of anybody in this building that would be related to what’s going with the MRSA cases that we have, no.”

Nicks had surgery this week to deal with his MRSA, which came back last week after it originally showed up in training camp. The high-priced free agent guard has played only two games this season. He also missed nine games last year because of injury. His loss has been one of the con-tributing factors to Tampa Bay’s 0-5 start.

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