What is MRSA and how can you prevent contracting it? Check out our tips:
Skin infections are commonly caused by the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus. According to the Centers for Disease Control, about 30% percent of people already carry this bacteria in their noses. While most of the time this bacteria is somewhat harmless, a slight infection can easily develop into a more serious infection that could require medical attention. In some cases, the bacteria can go deep into the body affecting the bones, joints, bloodstream, heart valves, or lungs.
Common forms of Staph infections include:
Another, more difficult to treat, form of a staph infection is MRSA (methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus), named as such due to resistance to the class of antibiotics typically used to treat staph infections. You can come into contact with the bacteria almost anywhere, but it is most commonly contracted in situations where people come into close contact with others. This could mean hospitals or nursing homes where people might have compromised immune systems, or are more at risk for developing infections. MRSA may also be contracted through close skin to skin contact during activities like school sports, such as wrestling or football, or even from commonly shared gym equipment.
You may have MRSA if you develop a swollen looking bump or pimple. The bumps are usually painful, and may feel warm to the touch. These bumps are typically filled with pus, or other drainage. You also may experience a fever.
Follow these tips:
If you notice any symptoms of MRSA, you should see your health care provider as soon as possible. In most cases, MRSA is easy to treat and symptoms will begin to improve as quickly as 24 hours after administration of medication. In some cases, a person with a MRSA infection may need to be hospitalized. If left untreated, a MRSA infection runs the risk of progressing to sepsis, which is a potentially deadly complication.
Unfortunately, the strain of bacteria that causes MRSA is often resistant to the form of antibiotics usually used to treat other staph infections. There are, however, other antibiotics that are able to target MRSA. Usually these antibiotics can be taken orally. Your doctor will likely perform an exam, and any necessary testing needed to diagnose MRSA. In some cases, your doctor might need to drain any boils or abscesses, depending on the severity of the infection.
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