MRSA or Methicilin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infection is caused by a staphylococcus bacteria strain that has become resistant to the antibiotics used to treat staphylococcus infection. MRSA infections are common to people who are working or have been in hospitals and health care institutions like dialysis centers and nursing homes. This is called as health care associated MRSA or HA-MRSA. Another type is community associated MRSA or CA-MRSA which occurs in the people in the community. It begins as a boil that is painful. It is usually spread by skin to skin contact.
Staphylococcus skin infections and MRSA starts as a small red bumps that look like pimples, spider bites or boils, and turns into deep painful abscess requiring draining and surgery. The bacteria sometimes remains in the skin but the bacteria may also burrow deep down the body causing bone, joints, heart valves, lungs and bloodstream infections which are life-threatening.
The cause of MRSA infection is Staphylococcus aureus, known as staph, has a lot of variety. Staph bacteria are usually found in the skin and nose in about one-third of population. The bacteria is harmless unless they enter through a cut or wound. They are usually only minor skin problems in healthy people.
MRSA resulted because of unnecessary use of antibiotics and even if antibiotics are appropriately used, this can still contribute to the rise in drug-resistant bacteria. Bacteria evolve fast so if bacteria survive in one antibiotic, it learns to resist others.
MRSA is diagnosed by doctors through checking a sample of tissue or nasal secretions for drug-resistant bacteria signs. The specimen is placed in a dish with a lot of nutrients which encourages bacterial growth. But bacteria cultures takes 48 hours before it can grow so a new test was invented where in it detects the DNA in just a few hours. Such tests are now widely used.
Both health care and community types of MRSA are still able to respond in certain antibiotics. Antibiotics are sometimes unnecessary. For example, a doctor treats the abscess by draining it instead of treating it with drugs.
People who are infected with HA-MRSA in the hospital are placed in isolation to prevent MRSA spread. Those health workers and visitors attending to the patient must wear protective garments and follow strict hand washing guidelines to prevent MRSA contamination and spread. Contaminated laundry and surfaces should be disinfected properly.
To prevent community-associate MRSA, one should practice careful hand washing to prevent contamination and spread. An individual should know how to scrub the hands thoroughly for 15 seconds. Or you may carry a hand sanitizer anywhere you go to regularly disinfect your hands preventing contamination.
Keep your wounds covered. You should keep abrasions and cuts clean and cover it with sterile bandages until healed. The pus in the wound may contain MRSA so you should cover it to prevent spread of MRSA.
Avoid sharing of personal items like towels, razors, sheets, athletic equipment and clothing. MRSA spreads through direct contact as well as with contaminated objects.
Always practice good hygiene. In athletes, shower every after practice or in games using soap and water. Do not share your towel with others.