MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aura) is one type of infection that is common among those who stay in hospitals for long periods of time. MRSA comes from Staphylococcus bacteria. It is serious because it is hard to kill. Whenever you experience bacterial infections, doctors use antibiotics to kill them. When an antibiotic resistant bacteria is the source of the infection, treating it becomes that much harder. The good news is that MRSA isn’t like a cold. It is not something you just pick up walking outside in the winter time. It is very serious, depending on what part of the body it infects. Knowing the symptoms of MRSA will allow you to obtain an early diagnosis, which leads to a better prognosis.
Origin of MRSA
Staphylococcus is a family of bacteria that can have life-threatening effects. Antibiotics are meant to kill bacteria. Antibiotics are not something newly invented. They have been killing bacteria for decades. When they were first invented, scientist and doctors thought they killed everything. They were used not only for bacterial infections but also for viral infections. This is both good and bad. The bad part about it all is that over time, bacteria have mutated because of antibiotic overuse. One might call it abuse, but back then no one knew. Some mutations improve an organism and make them stronger, but other mutations kill the organism. MRSA is a mutation of Staphylococcus bacteria that allows it resist antibiotics. That is a good thing for the bacteria because it can live much longer than normal, but it is not a good thing for us because it makes it difficult to treat.
MRSA has a huge impact on the skin. The first signs of MRSA are seen on the skin. MRSA shows up as red boils or bumps. The bumps are fairly small. The skin around it is swollen and tender. You also get a fever in that area so your skin will be hot. The increase in temperature is the reaction of the body to fight off the infection; therefore, the whole body might become hot. MRSA on the surface of the skin is not that serious. Sometimes it spreads deeper into the tissues, but if it reaches into the bloodstream, it is especially life-threatening. Another symptom of MRSA is pus. The pus may also start draining. The unfortunate part of MRSA is that it can be confused with other bacterial infections. If antibiotics are not working to treat the condition, it is a sure sign that it could be MRSA.
Risks of MRSA
There are several risk factors for MRSA.
- Being hospitalized – When you are in the hospital, the immune system is usually down which makes you more susceptible to diseases like MRSA.
- Nursing homes and other care facilities
- Playing sports – The sport itself does not cause MRSA, but when you are playing with cuts and scratches on your body, it is easy to get bacteria in them.
- The insertion of unclean medical devices. Infections and bacteria live in unsanitary conditions.
- Living in unsanitary places puts you at risk. It does not only affect humans, but it also affects animals. It is important to keep the pets clean because it can carry the disease and spread to you and your guest.
MRSA does spread, and it spreads quickly. It can make parts of the body look sunburned. As it continues to spread, it can get into major organs like the heart and lungs. The MRSA can also spread into the bloodstream, bones, and joints. Some ways to avoid MRSA is keeping cuts and scrapes covered until they heal. It is also best not to stay in the hospital longer than necessary. Washing your hands is a must. In sports, it is easy to share things with your teammates, but you should not. Keep your things to yourself. In this case, not sharing means caring. Sanitize everything. You do not have to be a germaphobe, but keeping things clean will prevent you from contracting not only MRSA but other unwanted diseases.
MRSA is diagnosed with samples of either tissue or secretions from the nose. It takes 48 hours for the test to come back, but if it comes back positive, treatment must begin immediately. Although methicillin is not a cure, some other types of antibiotics may help. Other forms of treatment include draining the areas infected. If you have an abscess due to MRSA, draining the abscess is always the best method of treatment.
MRSA can be mild, or it can be life-threatening. The major factor of MRSA is that it can be avoided. Sometimes you get complacent with washing your hands and keeping cuts covered, but you should not. Stay up on your hygiene and try to keep things sanitized. When you are suffering from a chronic illness, you have to be on top of these things. With your immune system being down, you are susceptible to a lot of infections. If you have to stay in the hospital for a long period, try to stay clean and make sure the bed is changed properly. If you need help, it is always good to have someone there with you. MRSA is not something you have to be afraid of, but understanding what it is and how you catch it, can prevent you from becoming infected.
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