Ellen Goldberg, NBCDFW.com
Six firefighters contracted staph infections at two different firehouses, Dallas Fire-Rescue says.
Six Dallas firefighters are back on the job after contracting staph infections at two different firehouses on opposite ends of the city.
Dallas Fire-Rescue spokesman Jason Evans said the MSSA infection spread three weeks ago after a firefighter came to work with an open cut on his skin.
Dr. Don Dillahunty, president and CEO of Primacare Medical Centers, said MSSA is spread by skin contact. He said it spreads rapidly, usually among athletes in locker rooms.
“You would think it could certainly happen in a firehouse," he said. "A lot of times, it occurs in athletes, people who play football."
MSSA, or Methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus, is not the same as MRSA, which is resistant to antibiotics and can be deadly.
Dillahunty said while MSSA is dangerous, it's by no means deadly.
“It can get into the blood stream and cause pneumonia, but the thing about it is, it’s easier to treat MSSA, you have a large class of antibiotics that will clear it up pretty quickly.”
The firefighters who contracted the infection work at Station 21, which is near Dallas Love Field, and Station 49 on South Hampton Road in Southwest Dallas.
A 35-year-old firefighter, Chris Pham, died at a hospital after he was found unresponsive in his bunk last week.
The Dallas County Medical Examiner has yet to release a cause of death.