What Is MRSA?
Basically MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus) is a Staph infection gone bad. Staph Aureus is normally carried on the skin. It can also be carried in the nose without producing any ill effects, so that the person carrying may not even know it. It normally manifests as boils or pimples. It normally turns into a serious infection if the smaller signs of its presence, such as the pimples or boils, are ignored.
MRSA used to be primarily an infection acquired in a hospital or nursing home by people with weakened immune systems, surgical wounds, urinary tract infections, bloodstream infections or pneumonia.
More and more, people who are outside healthcare facilities are acquiring MRSA. These infections usually manifest as stated above, as boils or pimples, and are seen in otherwise healthy people. Groups of potential concern are athletes or prisoners (due to close proximity), children and men who have sex with men.
How is MRSA spread?
- close skin to skin contact
- openings such as cuts or abrasions
- contaminated items or surfaces
- crowded living conditions
- poor hygiene
- compromised immunity
What does MRSA look like?
As stated above, MRSA often presents as a 'pimple' or 'boil' looking area The areas often appear red, swollen, painful and have pus or other drainage. MRSA can also infect a pre-existing wound and produce the same symptoms.
How do I prevent acquiring a MRSA infection?
- Handwashing or sanitizer
- Keep open wounds clean and covered
- Avoid contact with other's wounds or bandages
- Avoid sharing personal items such as razors
- Clean athletic or other equipment before and after use
Take all your antibiotics:
- Don't stop unless specifically instructed. This means you shouldn't have any to share or to take at another time.
- Don't take anyone else's leftover
- See your healthcare provider if you think you may have Staph
- Most Staph infections ARE treatable with antibiotics
- Some may be drained and treated without antibiotics; but only by your healthcare provider
- If you are not better in a few days, call your healthcare provider again