Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (or the acronym MRSA) is common bacterium causes different body parts infections – including skin, lungs and other areas infections.
MRSA is sometimes called “superbacteria” because it does not respond to many antibiotics. Although most MRSA infections are minor, some can be life-threatening.
MRSA Skin Infection: Signs and Symptoms
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infections may appear as a small red bump or shin. The area may be tender, with swellings or hot to the touch. Most of these infections are mild, but they can change, becoming something deeper and more serious.
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, spider bite or something else?
Skin problems, different rashes or insect bites can be mixed up with MRSA because the symptoms of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureusare similar. Emergency doctors often tell patients if they think a spider has stung them if they had seen one. These “bites” can become MRSA. When a skin infection spreads or does not improve after 2-3 days of usual antibiotics, consult your doctor.
Skin Infection by MRSA: Cellulitis
MRSA can also lead to cellulitis, an infection of the deeper layers of the skin and tissues beneath them. Cellulite can spread quickly in a couple of hours. The skin looks pink or red, like sunburn, and can be hot, with swellings and tender.
MRSA skin infection: Abscess
Without proper and timely care, bacteria can cause a site with a minor infection to become an abscess – a painful lump under the skin that is full with pus. Treatment may require surgical drainage and antibiotics.
MRSA: How do you get it?
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus is transmitted by contact with an infected person or with an exposed item when you have an open wound or a scratch. Also for lack of hygiene: sharing razors, towels or sportswear. Two out of 100 people are carriers of the bacteria in their body, but usually do not get sick.
Who gets MRSA?
People who have had surgery or hospitalization are more likely to get MRSA. It is also observed in the elderly, people living in nursing homes and people with weakened immune systems. A person with a chronic illness such as diabetes, cancer, or HIV may get worse with the persistence of this infection.
Are hospitals safe?
Hospitals are the main sources of MRSA infections due to the high traffic of sick or injured patients. Work is being done to stop the problem. Efforts include screening for patients with MRSA, good hand hygiene, and wearing gloves. It is paying off – MRSA infections have dropped by about 50% in health care facilities.
Can healthy people get MRSA?
Yes. Infections are occurring more in people outside hospitals. These outbreaks – called community MRSA – are seen in schools, gyms, day centers, and other places where people share closed hearths.
MRSA in dogs and cats
It seems that MRSA has jumped from humans to pets at home, where it can remain without clear symptoms. Animals can carry the bacteria on their skin and can transmit it to the owner of the pet or infect other animals.
MRSA on the beach
MRSA can be present in sand and water on beaches in the US. Staph bacteria can live in salt water for several days and reproduce in the sand. There are a few ways to protect yourself: wash your hands often, showering after getting out of the water, and not wearing a new bathing suit without washing it.
How is MRSA diagnosed?
If you think you have a MRSA infection on the skin, cover the site with a bandage and contact a nearby health center, they will take a sample of the area and send it to a laboratory for analysis.
How to treat MRSA?
Only some infections may need draining, cleaning, and covering in the doctor’s office. Oral antibiotics can treat MRSA, but because it does not respond to many common medications such as methicillin, amoxicillin, penicillin, oxacillin, and cephalorsporins, your doctor may prescribe linezolid, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole or clindamycin. MRSA treatment can be with intravenous vancomycin.
New drugs reach the market
Three new antibiotics have approval in recent years: Dalvance (dalbavancin) and Orbactiv (Oritavancin) and Sivextro (phosphate tedizolid), a pill that you should take every day.
MRSA Skin Infection: Home Care
When your doctor prescribes a particular medication, it is important to finish all doses – even if you notice the symptoms subside. Stopping too soon may cause the infection to return or allow the MRSA bacteria to become immune to drugs that still work. Keep the damaged area covered until it has healed and change the bandages when the doctor instructs. You should also wash the bedding, towels and clothes thoroughly and regularly.
Complications of MRSA
MRSA can spread from a small and contained infection to one that involves your internal organs and body systems. Doctors often link MRSA to pneumonia and bloodstream infections such as sepsis. Recent CDC reports found more than 72,000 serious MRSA infections and more than 9,000 deaths per year.
How to avoid MRSA?
Washing your hands frequently with soap and water and using an alcohol-based hand gel are great ways to avoid Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Clean surfaces that come into contact with the gym and shower quickly after any skin-to-skin contact. Do not touch other people’s wounds or bandages or share personal items. During a hospital stay, remind staff members to wash their hands before they touch you.
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