The Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) is linked to a wide variety of human infections. It is identified to come in varying strains that have been the result of evolution. Normally, infections are medically treated with antibiotics, which are essentially powerful medications that are capable of killing bacteria. The difficult thing with this particular type of infection is that it has strains that have remained resistant to beta-lactam antibiotics that include cephalosporins and penicillins. With this in mind, it becomes necessary for people to peruse these 10 questions about MRSA to ask your doctor.
- What exactly is Staph?
The Staphylococcus Aureus or commonly referred to as Staph is classified as a bacteria, which should not be confused with viruses that are responsible for the common cold and flu among others. Staph is essentially traced to a number of skin infections that have a pimple- or boil-like appearance. These infections are characterized by their swollen, reddish, painful, and pus discharges. MRSA is a type of Staph that is resistant to some types of antibiotics, which means they are relatively more difficult to treat.
- Are there high risk groups for this type of infection?
There are actually some groups that have been identified to be more susceptible to the infection than the greater population. Knowing these high risk groups will eventually help in preventing the spread of the infection through contact. Some of the high risk groups are:
- Patients in hospitals
- Residents of nursing homes as well as other long-term care facilities
- Children in day care facilities
- Recruits in the military
- People who have a weak immune system
- How does the infection spread?
The first important thing to understand with Staph and MRSA is that anyone can actually get it. However, one of the most important ways to avoid the infection is to understand how it spreads. The most common methods of transfer identified are:
- Skin contact with an infected person
- Contact with surfaces and items that have the presence of Staph
- Skin openings such as scrapes and cuts
- Living in a crowded location
- Poor hygienic practices
- Staying in hospitals
- Part of an athletic group
- What are the common symptoms of infection?
There are actually numerous symptoms that can be associated with this particular infection depending on the specific part of the body that it manifests in. This means that burns, surgical wounds, and catheter sites are just some of the physical manifestations. The part of the body that is infected can also be red, swollen, and tender. It is important to know that there can be instances that symptoms will not manifest even when a person is infected.
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- How serious is this type of infection?
The MRSA infection in general can be considered minor and easily treatable. However, more serious infections cannot be discounted because of the possibility of reaching the bloodstream, surgical sites, or even causing pneumonia. There have been instances where the infection of the skin can get worse, which would necessitate getting in touch with a qualified healthcare professional to keep it from intensifying.
- What is the normal treatment?
The most common approach for this type of skin infection can be a combination of antibiotic solution with draining of the infection. Draining should be handled by a qualified healthcare professional. When antibiotic is given, it is necessary to ensure that proper doses are observed and should only be stopped on the advice of the attending physician.
- What are the practical steps to preventing the spread of the infection?
It is equally necessary for people to understand how they can prevent this type of infection from spreading. Therefore they should be aware of these practical steps:
- Frequently wash your hands with soap and water, or use alcohol-based sanitizers
- Cuts and scrapes should be cleaned and bandaged regularly
- Refrain from touching the cuts or bandages of other people
- Avoid sharing personal items
- Use bleach in washing items used by someone with this infection
- What happens when an infected person is admitted to the hospital?
The initial precaution taken is to put the infected person in a private room to avoid unnecessary contacts. To prevent the spread of infection, nurses and physicians will wear gowns and gloves during treatment. Family and friends who visit will also be advised to do the same when they visit. Masks may even be recommended, especially if visitors have pneumonia or cough. Proper washing of hands is strongly encouraged.
- Are there consequences for patients with this infection who will undergo joint surgery?
The normal practice in medical facilities that undergo joint surgery is that a screening will be done in order to prevent infection at the surgical site. A nasal swab culture is usually done to identify is prescription is necessary for any infection. If any infections persist, it will initially be treated to ensure that it is adequately contained. This means that there should be no inherent danger for those having joint surgery.
- Is it possible to eliminate this infection?
In general, the bacteria that is responsible for this type of infection lives in the nose, which is why a nasal swab culture is done to test for its presence. It is possible to eliminate the infection once the bacteria have been dealt with. However, it is important to be aware that treatment can run for several months.
With so many concerns about this infection, it becomes exceedingly necessary to understand these 10 questions about MRSA to ask your doctor.
Want more information on the MRSA infection? Check out http://www.themrsa.com, which has content on prevention, symptoms, treatment, and more.