Mercer staph or MRSA infection is very common these days. This bacteria is none other than a strain of the common bacterial flora of the human skin, Staphylococcus aureus. These agents are known to cause some of the mild to severe infections of the skin, lungs, bones, blood, nails, etc. Antibiotics are used to treat the infection. However, when it fails to respond to the antibiotic treatment, it is said to have been mutated into MRSA.
Mercer or MRSA stands for Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus. This condition is very difficult to treat as the bacteria is resistant to most of the antibiotics. Thus, leading to serious health problems as it continues to spread. In order to avoid a serious complication, it is important to learn the various modes of its spread.
How do You Get MRSA
MRSA infection was considered to be a hospital acquired infection. It was first observed in 1960s due to the increase in use of antibiotics. The bacteria turned resistant to the action of antibiotics and began to produce strains which could protect themselves against antibiotics used in the treatment. People who were hospitalized for a really long time were the ones who used to develop the condition.
Patients with open wounds, burn injuries, sores, etc., were more prone to getting Mercer. As the bacteria lives on the skin, an open sore or wound helped them gain entry into the body to cause infection. Urinary catheters, tubes that were inserted into the body, intravenous drips, use of unsterilized needles, etc., also lead to its spread. Many times blood and urine too become contaminated, and become a cause of spread.
It was very uncommon to see spread of MRSA infection outside the hospital. However, this scenario is changing since the past few years. More and more cases of Mercer are being identified outside the hospital. These cases are called community acquired Mercer infections.
It is a cause of concern, as it can spread to children, as well as old people leading to many serious complications. It has been found that a small percentage of people carry MRSA bacteria on their skin. These people never develop any skin infections. They are not even aware they are 'carriers' of the infection and can spread it to others around them.
Is it Contagious?
In case of community acquired Mercer infections, it can spread through direct skin-to-skin contact. These bacteria can also survive for weeks on furniture, door knobs, toys, counter tops, etc. Their survival depends on the temperature, humidity, etc. The bacteria can also spread through air, by attaching themselves to dust particles and other air pollutants.
Sharing of needles while using illegal drugs, razors, nail clipper, gym equipment, towels, clothes, bathrooms, locker rooms and other personal items can also cause the spread.
Signs and Symptoms
Mercer can be very sneaky, and will appear as recurrent boils or abscess that is hard to treat. These boils and pimples occur in odd places on your body like inside your nose, between groin, buttocks, back of your knee and legs, armpit, etc. The abscess will be very hard to drain, and will need medical help.
The infected skin will get swollen, tender, and red. If you suffer from any injury or wounds, it will be very hard to treat and may turn septic. One may even suffer from fever, headaches, and severe infections.
When one is diagnosed with MRSA infection, he or she is prescribed a particular type of antibiotics that help cure the infection. These antibiotics are generally given intravenously. The most common form of antibiotics used to treat it is vancomycin and teicoplanin. It is very difficult to get rid of this condition, and one may need to use special creams, soaps, etc., to limit the spread.
To prevent the condition, make sure you wash your hands frequently with an anti-bacterial soap. Never share your personal items with anyone. If you observe recurrent boils, infections, abscesses, etc., that are difficult to treat, speak to your doctor about it. He will be able to guide you properly regarding its management.