Everything you need to know about the Superbug MRSA

What is MRSA?

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, often known as S. aureus or MRSA, is a staph bacterium resistant to the standard antibiotics used to treat staph infections. This makes it harder to cure because fewer medications are available to eradicate the germs. MRSA infections come in two varieties: healthcare-associated (sometimes referred to as HA-MRSA) and community-associated (CA-MRSA). S. aureus is generally believed to be a typical component of skin flora and is frequently found in people's nasal passages and on their skin, for example.

What symptoms indicate MRSA?

  • Fever and a red

  • Filled lump on the skin.

  • Chest discomfort,

  • Rash

  • Open wounds

  • HA-MRSA can develop in the heart, lungs, circulation, or around a recent surgical site.

How does an MRSA rash appear?

A little lump or boil that resembles a spider bite indicates infection for the first time. The bulge and the skin around it might swell, turn red, hurt, and inflame (cellulitis). Additionally, the bump could be heated to the touch and ooze pus.

Treatment options for MRSA

Medical professionals can drain the abscess as part of MRSA treatment, and oral or intravenous antibiotics are other options. Avoid attempting to remove an abscess on your own. To prevent the infection from getting worse, it is crucial that the surgery be carried out professionally and with sterile instruments. You should seek medical attention if the abscess does not discharge by itself after administering a hot pack to the region if it is tiny.

The most common MRSA type, HA-MRSA, affects persons who have recently visited a hospital, nursing home, or dialysis facility.

CA-MRSA can spread through close skin contact or crowded areas. Athletes in high school and college, as well as those living in dorms, jails, and military barracks, are more likely to get this type of MRSA infection.

The spread of MRSA How?

MRSA can spread by touching an infected lesion or exchanging personal objects like towels and razors that have come into contact with an infected skin. There is a higher chance of contracting MRSA in crowded places or situations where there is skin-to-skin contact, such as in sports, the military, or some school and daycare settings.

Healthcare-associated MRSA (HA-MRSA) infection risk factors differ from those that apply to community-based MRSA infections (CA-MRSA).

HA-MRSA risk factors include −

  • Implantable Medical Devices: MRSA may enter your body through medical tubings, such as IV lines and urine catheters.

  • Long-Term Care Facility Residences: In nursing facilities, where MRSA is widespread, the infection can spread from carriers to people with compromised immune systems.

Following are some CA-MRSA risk factors −

  • Sports Involving Contact: In sports like wrestling, football, and others where there are wounds or abrasions on the skin, MRSA can spread quickly through skin-to-skin contact.

  • Having a Cluttered or Unsanitary Environment: MRSA poses a significant risk to jails, daycare facilities, student residence halls, and military training facilities.

  • Sexual Activity Among Men: Males who have sex with another man are much more prone to develop Pathogens.

  • Injecting illicit substances: MRSA may enter your body through shared or recycled needles.

  • Having a Tattoo: Tattoo needles may get MRSA into your body if not handled correctly.

  • Surgery or recent illness: Your body is more vulnerable to MRSA infection if you recently had the disease or underwent surgery.

  • Recent use of antibiotics: If you've recently used an antibiotic, your chance of contracting MRSA may be higher.

  • Contact or Infection with MRSA in the Past: If you have had MRSA infection in the past or are in close contact with someone who has, your risk of disease is higher. 

Make an appointment with your doctor immediately if you get skin signs associated with MRSA or a fever. Keep the wound bandaged in the interim, and wash your hands often. Avoid attempting to pop or squeeze pus from your injury. This might exacerbate the illness.

Compared to a typical CA-MRSA skin infection, HA-MRSA symptoms are typically more severe. Your circulation, heart, lungs, other organs, or the site of a recent operation may get infected with MRSA after being exposed to it in a hospital environment.

Some signs of HA-MRSA include −

  • Chest pain

  • Coughing

  • Breathing difficulty

  • Fatigue

  • Fever

  • Headache

  • Rash Injury that Isn't Healing

Like other staph infections, MRSA infections usually are identified using a bacterial culture. Your doctor will take a sample from your skin rash or sore using a cotton swab and from other places, including your nasal secretions.

After being submitted to a lab, this sample is put on a plate with ingredients that promote bacterial growth. The bacteria are then examined and classified after this. If MRSA is proven to be the source of your illness, further testing will identify the appropriate drugs that may be used to treat it. A novel, quicker test that finds staph DNA may be used as an alternative to a bacterial culture.

Depending on the infection's type and location, MRSA treatment may vary. The abscess may need to be drained by your doctor if you have an MRSA skin infection. You might require this therapy.

Avoid attempting to puncture or drain an abscess on your own. The process must be carried out appropriately with sterile instruments to prevent the infection from worsening or spreading to other persons.

Taken in conjunction with other treatments, using certain antibiotics, such as −

  • Linezolid

  • Doxycycline (Vibramycin)

  • Clindamycin (Cleocin)

  • Trimethoprim (Trimpex)

  • Minocycline (Minocin) (Zyvox)

  • vancomycin (Vancomin)

Your doctor will give you an antibiotic if you have HA-MRSA (acquired in a healthcare environment). Your infection's location and the results of your blood tests will determine the medication you receive.

Depending on where and how severe your illness is, your doctor will recommend either an intravenous (IV) or oral antibiotic. MRSA infections can spread if they are not treated or the antibiotics used to treat them are ineffective. A life-threatening illness like that might develop.

Avoiding MRSA

Medical staff must adhere to protocols to control any infection to stop the spread of MRSA in healthcare institutions. These practices might involve −

  • Putting on protective clothing

  • Adhering to stringent hand hygiene guidelines

  • Cleaning up polluted areas

  • Washing contaminated laundry properly

There are several actions you may take to lessen your chance of contracting MRSA in your neighborhood (CA-MRSA) −

  • When you've been around other people, wash your hands thoroughly.

  • Any bites, wounds, or sores should be bandaged and kept clean.

  • Avoid touching anybody else's bandages, wounds, or cuts.

  • Share your towels, razors, clothes, and cosmetics with no one.

  • Athletes should take extra precautions to prevent MRSA, including −

  • Shower right after working out.

  • Shower at home if a public shower is unclean.

  • Prior to and following athletics, wash your hands.

  • Before utilizing communal workout equipment, disinfect it with an antibacterial solution.

  • Use a towel to shield your skin from the shared workout equipment.

  • Never reuse or share braces or splints.