Mrsa Symptoms | Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus

Staphylococcus aureus: This bacterium, often called Staph, is one of the most common causes of skin infections. It is a double sphere shaped bacteria. Staph is one of the most common causes of skin infections. It is differentiated by a coagulation test. They place the bacteria in a test tube with liquid gelatin then place it in a refrigerator overnight. The next morning they take the test tube and turn it upside down. Staph aureus allows coagulation and will not pour out of the test tube. Staph epidermis does not allow coagulation and will not poor out.

Staph is found on the skin or in noses of healthy individuals. This is normal colonization. Most staph infections are minor-appearing as reddened pimples, boils, or minor skin infections. Staph can cause more serious infections like surgical infections and pneumonia that require special antibiotics for treatment.

MRSA: This is a type of Staph germ that is difficult to treat with most antibiotic medicines. These antibiotics usually kill staph- (Methicillin, synthetic Penicillin). MRSA has developed resistance to kill the germ. It can be hard to treat and can lead to life-threatening blood or bone infections. Physically it is the same bacterial double sphere shape as regular staph. Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus can be misdiagnosed as a spider or insect bite (no insect seen). Symptoms include redness, tissue warmth, swelling, pus, skin tenderness, painful pimples, or blisters.

MRSA-infected skin can change from skin or surface irritations to abscesses. This germ can infect the blood, bones, tendons, skin and all surrounding tissue. MRSA Growth and Testing It multiplies on and in the skin. It can survive on objects and surfaces for more than 24 hours. Pus from skin sores can spread to other body parts or to other people. Infections can be found in crowds of people such as schools, gyms, teams and jails. MRSA is usually spread by physical direct contact of the skin secretions with bacteria or pus. It is spread through towels, keys, sheets, and work areas that have the germ on them.

A culture swab of the wound is sent to a laboratory to grow the bacteria. The growing bacteria are tested to see which antibiotics are effective to kill the infection. If the cultured staph aureus germs cannot be killed with standard antibiotics, including methicillin, then the infection is classified as MRSA.

Treatment of MRSA: These infections can be treated by draining the abscess or boil. Only physicians should drain sores with great care and covered dressings. Always keep the draining sores covered to prevent others from getting sick. MRSA infections are treatable with several antibiotics for days or weeks. Keep hands clean by washing thoroughly with soap and water and use a new or disposable towel. Wounds need to be kept clean and covered with a dressing until they are completely healed. Avoid direct contact with other people, especially if symptomatic. If you’re around people and come in direct contact with them, the polite thing to do is to tell them you have MRSA so that they can take precaution for there safety. Do not share razors, towels, toothbrush, clothing, coins, and eye makeup that directly touch your body. Clean and disinfect all objects before and after you touch them very carefully. Wash clothes and linens twice with water above 135 F and detergents. Use a hot air dryer rather than air-drying–they help in the killing of bacteria. Add 1 cap liquid bleach to wash water and wash clothes twice. Use a household spray liberally that is known to kill germs (printed on the can).

John Drew Laurusonis

Doctors Medical Center

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