My rating of +5 is based on the importance of being knowledgeable about MRSA
I was prompted to write this "review" about MRSA (Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus) for several reasons; one being the fact that I have had this staff infection, another is that it is EXTREMELY contagious and spreads to others quickly and easily, and the most important reason - I want to get this information out because I have seen first hand the ignorance of some families that know they have it, yet refuse to get treatment for it, only to have it spread to their children, who in turn are sent to school by the parents, threatening a school-wide epidemic among all the other students and staff members.
MRSA, in short, is a staff infection that is resistant to most antibiotics. A normal antibiotic such as Amoxicillan, Penicillan, etc. will not even touch this type of infection, so it is imperative we all know what MRSA looks like so we can be treated as quickly as possible. It can get into your bloodstream, your urine, and on your skin. MRSA is classified into two groups; CA-MRSA (this stands for Community Acquired) and HA-MRSA (Hospital Acquired) - Community Acquired infection spreads very easily through normal human contact and is spread from touching one's clothing, skin, and any surface the infected person has touched such as chairs, benches, utensils, furniture, etc. Hospital Acquired MRSA comes from surgical sites, IV and other puncture sites, and can reach into wounds and eventually into the body infecting the blood, urine, and other body organs.
I basically just want to talk about the Community Acquired MRSA - unless we decide to live in a bubble, none of us are protected against this infection and we must use precautions and basic MRSA knowledge to help protect ourselves and our families.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR:
I acquired MRSA on the back of my leg when I worked at a Correctional Center; we had a large group of inmates come from another facility with a huge outbreak of MRSA. We were extremely careful to be protected; using gloves and other protective gear and devices; but I somehow got it on my leg, through my uniform pants (scrubs) - I assumed I had maybe sat on a chair that an infected inmate had used. Being extra careful did not prevent me from getting it - I stress this because I protected myself and still contracted it, so being in contact with everyday people leaves you at an even higher risk. I immediately knew what it was and starting on Bactrim, a strong antibiotic. In the meantime, I had a large red bump on my leg that needed to be squeezed periodically to get rid of any pus, and of course I had it covered with sterile dressings at all times. Even after the infection was gone, I was left with a slightly discolored lump that will never go away. I consider myself lucky that I was aware it was MRSA immediately and was treated before it had a chance to spread to others, or get more severe. Knowledge is power!!
Here are signs and symptoms of CA- MRSA:
- cellulitis (infection of the skin or the fat and tissues that lie immediately beneath the skin, usually starting as small red bumps in the skin),
- boils (pus-filled infections of hair follicles),
- abscesses (collections of pus in under the skin),
- sty (infection of eyelid gland),
- carbuncles (infections larger than an abscess, usually with several openings to the skin), and
- impetigo (a skin infection with pus-filled blisters).
MRSA Skin Infection: Symptoms
MRSA infections can look exactly like ordinary staph infections of the skin: a small red bump, pimple, or boil. The area may be red, painful, swollen, or warm to the touch. Pus or other fluids may drain from the sore. Most MRSA skin infections are mild, but they can change, becoming deeper and more serious.
MRSA, Spider Bite or Something Else?
Bug bites, rashes, and other skin conditions can be confused with MRSA because the symptoms may be similar: red, swollen, warm, or tender. ER doctors routinely ask patients who arrive with a painful spider bite whether they actually saw the spider, because these "bites" so often turn out to be MRSA instead. When a skin infection spreads or does not improve after 2-3 days on usual antibiotics, it may be MRSA.
MRSA Skin Infection: Abscess
MRSA can sometimes cause a deeper infection called an abscess, which is a collection of pus that can be underneath the skin. A minor skin infection that goes without proper, timely treatment, can develop into an abscess. This type of infection may require surgical drainage and antibiotics to heal.
PLEASE BE AWARE THAT THESE PHOTOS SHOW MRSA AT A MORE ADVANCED STAGE. MRSA CAN START ON YOUR SKIN WITH A LITTLE RED BUMP OR PIMPLE WITH A LITTLE HEAD ON IT. IT CAN ALSO LIKES TO START INNOCENTLY ON SOMETHING AS SIMPLE AS AN INGROWN HAIR. IF YOU SEE THIS, KEEP A GOOD EYE ON IT, AND FOR PRECAUTION KEEP IT COVERED. IF IT DOES NOT GO AWAY OR IT GETS WORSE, SEE THE DOCTOR!!! DURING THE SUMMER WITH PUBLIC POOLS, PARKS, ETC. OPEN TO EVERYONE, IT IS IMPORTANT TO BE CAREFUL AND PRACTICE GOOD HYGIENE AFTER PUBLIC CONTACT.
If you suspect you may have MRSA, a simple test of the infected skin area is used to determine if you have it and antibiotics are given. It is imperative you stick with the antibiotics as directed by your Doctor and that you keep the infected area clean and covered with sterile bandages, etc. Do not touch your infected area with your fingers and hands, then touch household surfaces - make sure you wash your hands thoroughly so as not to spread it to everyone else.
I know a family who keeps spreading MRSA to each other; they refuse to go and get antibiotics; instead they believe that just squeezing it will make it go away. In the meantime, their children are out and about with an infected area, open and visible, on their skin which will only spread to everything and everyone they touch! This is where the ignorance comes in -- the parents know it is MRSA, but refuse to get it treated. In the meantime, I took the liberty of calling the school when their child was sent to school with MRSA on the leg - I could not bear the thought of innocent kids being subjected to MRSA because the child's parents are stupid. The child was sent home and forced to get medical attention.
For more information and photos go to MedicineNet.com HERE
I obtained some of the information from this site