Methicillin - Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus, also known as MRSA, is a bacterium that causes infection in various parts of the body. It is considered to be one of the toughest bacteria strain to kill. It is difficult to kill because of the bacterium, which has developed resistance to most of the antibiotics used in such type of infections.
We carry numerous bacteria of various types on and in our body (for example, nose, hands, on the skin surrounding genital organs, etc.). While some of them are useful for our body; some are harmful, and the rest are neutral. Staphylococcus bacterium is commonly found on our body, and it does not harm us until it finds an entry inside our body through any laceration, wound, or any other type of opening on our skin.
Once this happens, it can infect any internal body part and create a problem for us. Almost 20-25% of humans carry this bacterium on their body, and stand a strong chance of getting infected by it through some laceration, wound, or any such skin related problem. The other most common way through which it gets transmitted is through contact.
If a healthy person comes in a physical contact with an infected person, there are strong chances of him/her getting infected with MRSA. It may also happen if he/she touches anything that has bacteria on its surface. People who have weakened or damaged immune system are also prone to this type of infection. It can even be acquired if a person is hospitalized, and there is less hygiene maintained in hospital.
As this infection can occur on any part of the body, the symptoms can vary depending on the part that is infected.
- Pimples, boils, or abscess erupt on the skin if the infection has occurred near the skin surface.
- In case of deeper wounds, complexity increases many folds, and the bacterium may infect age-old wounds (such as old injury or surgical wounds etc.), lungs, blood vessels, and also urinary system.
- The infected part becomes reddish and swollen, containing pus accompanied with pain that gives a needle-pricking sensation.
- If treated in its earlier stage, this condition can be controlled very easily; but if the treatment is delayed, or the infection is routed deeper, it can become serious and deadlier. It may also facilitate other type of infections or medical complications.
- In some cases, if the lungs are infected with MRSA, the patient may develop pneumonia with fever and chills, and he/she may also experience shortness of breath.
The doctor may choose the treatment based on your health and medical history. Even though the bacteria has developed resistance to most of the antibiotics, there are still many other effective antibiotics available. Your doctor may choose a course based on various observations such as, your body response to antibiotics, need of other supplementary medicines, etc. He may also choose to avoid the use of antibiotics, and use other options, such as incision of the boil/abscess/pimple in order to remove as much of infected fluid from your body as possible.
- The only precaution you are required to take is, to complete the course of medicine you have been prescribed by your doctor.
- As already mentioned, this strain of the bacterium has become resistant to most of the antibiotics, because of the fact that people do not complete the medicine course. This helps some of the bacteria survive the antibiotics, and they learn how to resist them. Consequently, they will fight back the next time you take the medicine.
- As the infection occurs through the openings in the skin, you should be careful about your wounds, cuts etc. You should be careful enough to cover the cuts/wounds with proper medicated bandage. Maintain necessary hygiene, and do not touch anything that may have bacteria on its surface. Similarly, avoid touching other people's wounds or cuts.
- Hospitals should be carefully maintained, and use of hygienic objects should be made compulsory in such places. Along with it, people should be careful about possible infections.
- If you are diagnosed with this disease, you should be careful not to come in physical contact with any healthy person, as it might infect him/her too.
- It's also important that you should complete the medical course prescribed so that the bacteria is removed completely from your body.
- Wash your hands well with soap or sanitizer every time you touch something that is not hygienic, or may have bacteria on its surface. Also, maintain hygiene in your surroundings.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.