Mercer infection is caused by a bacterium methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), and is also referred to as MRSA infection or mercer staph infection. The issue of concern with this infectious disease, is that the causal bacterial strain is resistant to commonly prescribed antibiotics. Further, without prompt treatment of this medical condition, the symptoms may worsen to life-threatening complications.
Symptoms and Treatment
Generally, MRSA bacterium resides on the skin and in the nose, but it causes no harm in healthy individuals. However, children, elderly people, and those with a compromised immune system are at a risk of this infection. The common areas for entry of S. aureus are eyes, skin, urinary sites, surgical sites, open wounds, and burns. Once infected, it multiplies quickly and spreads to several parts of the body. Hence, the correct identification of symptoms in the initial stages is imperative, in order to get the timely treatment and achieve complete recovery.
The symptoms of this infection mimic other types of staph infections. Initial signs include skin redness, swelling, flaking, bumps, blisters, and MRSA rash. Other than these skin symptoms, the infection brings about swollen lymph nodes, fever, chills, diarrhea, vomiting, headache, muscle ache, and pneumonia. In short, self-diagnosis of MRSA staph infection is not easy, and the worst part is that this infection can spread from one infected person to another, through direct contact with the infected area and bodily fluids.
Any individual having suspected staph infection symptoms should not delay in taking medical help for the correct diagnosis. Lab-based diagnostic techniques include blood test using StaphSR, urinalysis, biopsy, and swab test by taking a sample from the infected area. Following diagnosis, the doctor would recommend the appropriate treatment for the infection. As the term MRSA would truly signify, this causal pathogen does not respond to methicillin-based antibiotics. Hence, this antibacterial therapy would not be recommended as a treatment for this infection. However, there are some antibiotics that are effective against the bacteria S. aureus strain.
When diagnosed at an early stage of the infection, therapeutic intervention is focused on cutting abscesses, and draining them to get rid of bacteria. However, this method is not effective for the affected people who have been diagnosed later. For such a bacterial infection case, antibiotics are recommended for recovery. Before prescribing medications, the doctor will run tests to examine the susceptibility of the causal organism. The two popularly prescribed antibiotics for treating this infection are vancomycin (trade name Vancocin) and linezolid (trade name Zyvox).
Other types of antibiotics that respond well for the treatment are clindamycin (trade name Cleocin), trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (trade name Bactrim), and doxycycline (trade name Vibramycin). Most likely, the doctor may prescribe combination antibiotic therapy as a cure for the infection. This increases the effectiveness of antibacterial therapy for the infection, because even if the causal strain is resistant to one antibiotic, the other medication comes into action for killing bacteria. In case of the affected people with severe symptoms, antibiotics are delivered via intravenous injections.
One word of caution, regarding the treatment with antibiotics, is to complete the full course of medication as suggested by the health care specialist. This is because the failure to do so increases the risk factor for recurrent infections, which are more serious than the previous case. The point is that the live bacteria may still be present in the body, even after the notable symptoms disappear. Thus, a complete antibiotic course would be prescribed for effective cure of the infection. In recent studies, using bacteriophage (type of virus) is claimed to be a potential treatment method for this contagious infection.
The prognosis of MRSA infection would depend on several aspects like extent of infection, general health of the affected person, and timely treatment for the mercer infection. An early treatment would be the key for a good outcome. Furthermore, in order to avoid the hassles of timely diagnosis and treatment, one should adopt personal hygiene.
Also, certain precautions such as washing hands, using a hand sanitizer, keeping wounds covered all the time, and not sharing personal items should be taken so as to prevent the condition. In a hospital setting, the people diagnosed with MRSA infection are kept isolated to minimize the risk of spreading infection.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.