Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) infection is caused by Staphylococcus Aureus bacteria – often called ‘staph’. Decades ago a strain of staph emerged in hospitals that was resistant to the broad spectrum of antibiotics commonly used to treat is. MRSA was one of the first germs to outwit all but the most powerful drugs. MRSA infection can be fatal.
A specific strain of the common bacteria Staphylococcus Aureus, MRSA, causes a type of ‘staph’ infection that has been cropping up among otherwise healthy people as skin infections, such as abscesses. Staph bacteria live on most people’s skin or in their noses with out causing any problems. But a staph infection can happen when the germ enters the body through broken skin such as a cut, scrape, or rash. Staph is the usual suspect in many skin infections. Staph infections, including those caused by MRSA usually begin as red bumps resembling boils or pimples. The bumps often become swollen, painful, and filled with pus. Most skin infections are often minor and can be remedied by regularly washing and bandaging the area and or using oral antibiotics or antibiotic ointment. Sometimes the abscesses from staph need to be drained by a doctor.
But MRSA can’t be treated with routinely given antibiotics. We now have to turn to other medications to try to treat MRSA. If the infection spreads to other parts of the body, MRSA may lead to serious complications like pneumonia and blood and joint infections.
MRSA is not a new infection. The difference is that now, MRSA is affecting more people outside hospitals and nursing homes. This is called Community- associated MRSA. This infection has been most recently found in a few high schools and professional sports teams. The bug can be passed through gyms and locker rooms, as well as shared equipment and skin contact.
To help keep the super bug at bay in your home:
- Make sure you wash hands well and often
- Use alcohol based hand sanitizer
- Don’t share razors
- Shared sports equipment should be cleaned and sanitized
Call you doctor if:
- An area of skin that’s red, painful, swollen or filled with pus.
- Skin is inflamed and feverish or you feel sick.
- Skin infections seem to be passed from one family member to another, or if two or more family members have skin infections at the same time.
Call our office today, at 757-488-3333, if you or a loved one is experiencing any of these symptoms.
~Dr. Samir Abdelshaheed, MD