Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) is a very resilient form of bacteria that has dramatically evolved through the years and become immune to almost every known antibiotic today. It is popularly known as the "super bug" that is evident in majority of hospitals in the United States, Asia and Europe. MRSA can be present with all the personal contacts and small minor wounds that you get either deliberately (tattoos or piercings) or accidentally (cuts or pricks).
MRSA has two types: Community-Acquired MRSA (CA-MRSA) and Hospital-Acquired MRSA (HA-MRSA).
Community-Acquired MRSA (CA-MRSA) is when someone healthy gets infected through personal contact, while getting tattoos, and while sharing personal things with other people outside of a health facility (in daily living conditions).
Hospital-Acquired MRSA (HA-MRSA) is when you contract the bacteria during your hospital stay (during long-term ventilation, surgery, etc) while your immune system is weak. When you think about it, it is pretty alarming to realize that a place where you are supposed to recuperate is a place where you actually get a strain of bacteria that is very resistant to most of the antibiotics used.
How do you know if you have MRSA?
You really have to be aware if you or a loved one already has MRSA or not. If you detect it earlier, there is a possibility of having it rid from your system. Here are the signs and symptoms that you have to watch out for:
Symptoms of MRSA Infection on the Skin
- Pus and fluids coming out of a swollen, infected site
- Fever, or fever with chills
- Coughs and shortness of breath (SOB)
- Chest pain and muscle pain
- Generalized body weakness (malaise)
- Fatigue or a feeling of tiredness
What are the Screening Tests for MRSA?
If MRSA symptoms are observed, then you should immediately go to your doctor for the necessary tests to see what particular strain of Staphylococcus is in your system. Your doctor may have the following diagnostic tests done:
- Skin, drainage, and blood culture
- Urine culture
- Sputum culture
What are the necessary Treatments and overall Prognosis?
Simple MRSA - For very simple MRSA infection such as a small inflamed, pimple-like bump on your skin, your doctor can have it drained right there in his office. This should be performed sceptically, of course.
Serious MRSA - On the other hand, for much more serious MRSA infections, you will have to take one of the following anti-infectives that targets the particular strain of MRSA detected through the diagnostic tests that you had:
You should make sure that you finish taking the antibiotics according to the instructions given to you by your doctor. Otherwise you would just be waiting for the bacteria to get more resistant.
If ever you were too busy or too stubborn to get medical attention for your MRSA, you should only expect that it will become more serious. When this happens, you would have to be hospitalized and be under oxygen therapy, intravenous fluid therapy with medications, and dialysis (if your kidneys fail due to the infection).
Early detection of MRSA can lead to much faster recovery due to immediate intake of the necessary antibiotics. However, if you did not pay attention to all your symptoms, then the following complications may happen: toxic shock syndrome, cellulitis, pneumonia, sepsis, endocarditis and even death. MRSA fatalities are increasing; cases of deaths due to MRSA now outnumber those of AIDS.
MRSA is really a fatal enemy that lurks in places that seem least likely to have such an organism. So make sure that you are equipped with a hand sanitizer, immune system boosting supplements, and a lot of caution, because you just never know when MRSA will strike.