MRSA Infection

What is MRSA Infection?

MRSA infection is a Methicillin-resistant a bacteria that will cause infections in different areas of the body. It is significantly more difficult to treat than most strains similar to it because it can be resistant to many commonly prescribed antibiotics. Left untreated, an MRSA infection can easily spread to other parts of the system and cause a potentially life-threatening illness.

A person is more at risk of developing an MRSA infection when in a hospital. This is because people in hospitals are surrounded by large groups of people, which would include staff, patients and visitors. This would make it easier for the MRSA infection to be transmitted.

What are the Symptoms of MRSA Infection?

People with MRSA infection might think they’re dealing with an insect bite. The majority of staph skin infections such as MRSA, appear as a bump or infected area on the skin that might appear as:

  • Swollen and Painful
  • Red or bright pink
  • Warm or even hot to the touch
  • Full of fluid
  • Accompanied with a high fever

Causes of MRSA Infection

MRSA infection is caused by a bacteria called meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, which is resistant to many antibiotics. It can live harmlessly on the skin, particularly in the buttocks, groin, armpits and nose, but it becomes harmful if it manages to get deeper into the body via a cut, a wound, or a needle, for example when having an IV in the hospital, or another foreign body like a urinary catheter.

One of the most common ways to develop an MRSA infection is by being in the hospital. For one, there are lots of people in a hospital environment which increases the risk of contracting the bacteria from someone carrying it on their skin. Secondly, there are factors involved which can allow the infection to enter deep into the body, such as via a surgical incision, an IV or a feeding tube.

Finally, other health problems which have led to hospital admittance could leave the immune system weakened and less capable of fighting off MRSA infection.

How is MRSA Infection Treated?

Treatment for an MRSA infection can include a specific set of antibiotics proven to work in treatment. A skin specialist (dermatologist) may also prescribe topical creams and antibiotic washing compounds in order to clear any infection on the skin. A treatment plan of this nature could involve having to shower multiple times per day and wash several loads of laundry at high temperatures.

Its very important to ensure that the infection is localized and treated right away without it spreading.

Prevention of MRSA Infection

Hospitals often screen patients to see if they are carrying MRSA on their skin before admitting them for overnight stays. If MRSA is found, they may isolate the patient to minimize the risk of the bacteria spreading to other vulnerable people. Scheduled surgeries may be canceled and rescheduled if MRSA is present in order to reduce the risk of a patient contracting an MRSA infection during the procedure.

Individuals can reduce their risk of contracting MRSA by following some basic hygiene procedures. Hands should be washed regularly, and if hand washing facilities aren’t available, use a hand sanitizer with at least 62% alcohol content. Do not share personal items with others, particularly towels, clothing, bed sheets and razors.

People with wounds can minimize the risk of MRSA infection by keeping the wound clean and covered with bandages which are changed as often as recommended by your healthcare provider. If a wound becomes infected, there is a possibility that the pus could contain MRSA. For this reason, keep the wound covered at all times to minimize the risk of spreading the infection to other parts of the body or other people.

MRSA Infection
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Last Reviewed:
October 07, 2016
Last Updated:
November 06, 2017