MRSA is a strain of bacteria that is resistant to antibiotics that are generally prescribed for the treatment of staph infections. This write-up provides information on the precautions that can be followed to prevent this infection.
Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) colonization and infection are two different things. About 1-2% of people carry MRSA on their skin or in their nose, but the bacterium poses a threat only if it enters the body through wounds, cuts, sores, etc. This strain has developed resistance to various antibiotics, which makes this infection difficult to treat.
Beta-lactam antibiotics such as methicillin, dicloxacillin, nafcillin, amoxicillin, and cephalosporins are some of the antibiotics that might not prove helpful in the treatment of MRSA infection. This staph infection can spread through direct contact, which explains the need to follow precautionary measures for MRSA.
Causes and Symptoms
While many healthy people might be carriers, this bacterium can gain access into the body only in the event of an injury to the skin. This staph infection is mainly categorized into health care-associated and community-associated infection. Since this strain might breed in health care settings, people working in hospitals or nursing homes must take precautionary measures.
While those who are carriers of this bacterium might get infected due to skin injuries, non-carriers get infected when they come in direct contact with an infected person. The latter is the case of community-associated MRSA. The bacterium can get transmitted, if one uses clothing or other personal items of an infected person.
The symptoms of this infection include redness, swelling and pain around the infected area. One might develop a rash, pus-filled boils, or skin abscesses. Though MRSA starts as a skin infection, the affected individual might experience symptoms such as fever, malaise, swollen lymph nodes, muscle pain, or shortness of breath.
Precautions and Treatment
Since the bacteria enter the body through cuts or wounds, one must immediately clean a wound with an antibacterial hand wash and cover it. If the wound doesn’t heal quickly and you develop a skin rash, consult a doctor immediately. Those who have a weak immune system might take longer to completely recover from this infection.
Since the chances of the transmission of this bacteria are greater in health care settings, people working in medical settings must follow precautionary measures for preventing this infection. Precautionary measures can be categorized into contact precautions and isolation precautions for MRSA.
A person affected by MRSA is usually kept in a separate ward. The wound must be kept covered. If fluid is oozing from the wounds, then such a patient must not be allowed to interact with other patients. While administering medicines to such patients, a health care worker must wear a mask, protective eyeglasses, gloves, and surgical gown to prevent the transmission of this bacterium.
Hand hygiene is extremely important. Health care workers must wash their hands properly before and after coming into contact with each and every patient. Whether you administer medicines or change the linen, use an antibacterial hand wash to clean your hands. If your clothing has been contaminated with discharge, change your clothes soon.
Any medical device that is placed in the ward must be sanitized. The patient’s room must be disinfected and cleaned thoroughly. Taking cultures of patients and the staff members in a private setting is also important to rule out the chances of the transmission. These are some of the precautions that need to be followed by health care workers.
Since staph bacteria has developed resistance to various antibiotics, it’s extremely important that precautionary measures be followed. After all, prevention is better than cure.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.