Causes and Symptoms of a MRSA Infection

May 7th 2016

The primary step in preventing MRSA infections is to be aware of the causes, risk factors and preventative methods that eliminate increased risks. Although MRSA is resistant to many antibiotics, a MRSA infection is a treatable condition, but it requires medical attention to avoid spreading.

Causes

A MRSA infection results from staph bacteria that enter the body through an open wound, sore, cut or bite. The strain of bacteria is often present within the body, especially in the nose, but becomes harmful when it infects open wounds and begins to travel throughout the organ and bloodstream. People typically contract a MRSA infection through contact with infected individuals. Physical touch with an infected person or unsanitary practices increase susceptibility to an infection, especially if open cuts, scrapes, surgical wounds or bite exist on the skin.

Risk Factors

MRSA is a common concern in hospital environments, where there are people with weakened immune systems and surgical wounds. Invasive medical devices, such as urinary catheters and intravenous lines, can create a pathway for harmful bacteria and increase the risk of a MRSA infection. MRSA is common in long-term health care facilities, such as nursing homes or rehabilitation centers, as carriers of the staph bacteria have the ability to spread it to individuals with weaker immune systems. Individuals who reside or spend significant time in unsanitary conditions or crowded areas such as military camps, prisons and child care centers are at an increased risk for exposure to MRSA.

Symptoms

MRSA infections typically appear as red, swollen bumps similar to rashes, pimples or bug bites. The bumps become painful and filled with pus or fluid in most cases. Skin symptoms of MRSA infections commonly occur near open sores, surgical wounds or bites that provide a pathway for the infection to enter the body and bloodstream. Some people with MRSA infections experience a runny nose or fever when the infection is rampant.

Treatment and Prevention

Even though MRSA is commonly resistant to certain antibiotics, drug treatment is still common, either through oral medication or intravenous antibiotics. Physicians also drain the fluid-filled sores surgically to eliminate staph bacteria. People at risk for MRSA infections can help prevent staph infections by avoiding sharing personal items with others, washing hands regularly and keeping wounds covered.

Conclusion

MRSA is a bacterial infection that commonly produces skin infections that are resistant to antibiotics typically used to treat and eliminate harmful bacteria. The germ associated with MRSA, also known as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, does not always respond to drugs and antibiotics, which can prolong the staph infection on the skin or increase risks of the infection spreading to various parts of the body, such as the bloodstream, lungs, heart valves, bones and joints. MRSA can be life-threatening if the infection does not heal or respond to treatment, especially if staph infections have spread throughout the body.

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