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Recently it has come to the attention of health care officials in Cleveland that a staff infection may have been transferred from person to person during a high school football game.

Staph infections among high school football players in Lakewood and Berea were the first reported local outbreaks in what some call a rapidly emerging epidemic. They probably won’t be the last.

MRSA gets its name because the bacteria resists penicillin-related antibiotics. Doctors are finding that community-acquired MRSA or methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus is an increasingly resistant strain to more traditional antibiotics, The bug is so prolific that the community strain is infiltrating hospitals.

The community strain caused outbreaks among healthy babies in hospital nurseries in Chicago and Los Angeles, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in March.

The infections often are found in places where people are in close quarters, including athletic facilities and day-care centers. Children, young adults and racial minorities are disproportionately affected, the CDC said.

Most community MRSA infections involve skin and soft tissue. But more-severe infections occur in as many as 10 percent of cases. A serious infection can lead to pneumonia or septic shock, according to medical experts.

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