What is MRSA Infection?

“The Superbug Staph”

We at Advanced Bio Treatment have come across various infectious diseases in-which we have had to decontaminate, because it’s our job to provide and perform these Biohazard cleanup services, in order to keep you and your family safe. If you have ever wondered: “What is MRSA Infection” or “What does MRSA stand for?” or even the answer to the question: “How is MRSA Infection Spread? We have compiled some information on the MRSA Infection.

MRSA infection comes from a bacterium: Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus, which has developed a resistance to commonly used antibiotics that killed the bacterium until recently. Its name describes its characteristics: “Methicillin” is the antibiotic that once destroyed the bacterium. “Staphylococcus aureus” is the name of the staph bacterium that is common in the nose and on skin. What makes MRSA infection so dangerous is the fact that the bacterium has developed a resistance to the common antibiotics used to treat staph infections. It earned its name “super bug” because it is so hard to treat.

MRSA infection can appear in many different parts of the body but is most common on the skin, where it manifests as boils or sores, and where it is also highly contagious. Staph bacteria live in our bodies, especially in our noses. The bacteria are generally harmless, even if they enter an open wound through a cut, which is how most staph bacteria enter the body. Most staph infections are not serious to healthy individuals and respond to antibiotics.

MRSA, however, is a mutated strain of staph that has become resistant to the antibiotics that used to destroy it. The bacteria adapt quickly to new antibiotics and multiply rapidly, making it hard for medical researchers to develop new antibiotics quickly enough to combat new infections.

MRSA Staph Infection Symptoms

Most of the time, MRSA staph infection symptoms appear on the skin:

  • Swollen, painful, red bumps that look like pimples or insect bites
  • Pus or drainage from the infected skin
  • Fever
  • Affected area feels warm to the touch

The biggest threat MRSA infection poses is not skin lesions but the problem that the bacteria don’t stay on the skin. Because MRSA resists common antibiotics and is difficult to treat, it spreads beyond the skin and, through the skin abrasions, enters the bloodstream, organs, bones, and joints, where it becomes life-threatening. Some of the life-threatening conditions caused by MRSA infection include blood poisoning, pneumonia, bone infections, endocarditis (heart-valve infection), UTIs (urinary tract infections), and septic bursitis, which are small fluid-filled sacs beneath the skin.

How is MRSA Infection Spread?

You get MRSA infection through physical contact with people who have the infection, by either touching or being touched by objects that are contaminated with the bacteria. MRSA can live for nearly two months on some common surfaces, making disinfection procedures critical in controlling MRSA bacteria. MRSA infection originally was found only in hospital and nursing-home settings where the bacteria was spread by medical personnel from one patient to another through contact with surgical wounds and with catheters and feeding tubes that enter the body. In health-care facilities, MRSA attacks the most vulnerable victims—the elderly and the sick or wounded. This strain of MRSA is called HA-MRSA, or health-care associated MRSA, because it occurs primarily in a hospital environment. It still accounts for the majority of MRSA infection victims.

Risk factors for HA-MRSA include:

  • Being hospitalized
  • Having invasive devices like tubing (catheters, feeding tubes, IVs, etc.)
  • Having surgery
  • Living in a nursing home

MRSA infection has spread, however, into the larger community and now affects people who have never been hospitalized. This strain of MRSA is called CA-MRSA, or community-associated MRSA and is more common among groups of people who have a great deal of contact with the skin of other people, like athletes, children in daycare or school, and prisoners.

MRSA Infection Control

The best MRSA infection control is frequent and thorough hand-washing with soap and water.

Other important MRSA infection control procedures include:

  • Thoroughly cleaning of surfaces that may be contaminated with MRSA.
  • Keeping fingernails short.
  • Never sharing personal items like soap, lotion, cosmetics, nail files and clippers, hair brushes and combs, razors, toothbrushes.
  • Never sharing unwashed towels.
  • Washing or disposing of gloves and gowns after caring for someone with MRSA staph infection symptoms.
  • If you are infected or are caring for someone who is infected with MRSA:
    • Always make sure the full dosage of any prescribed antibiotics is completed.
    • Never attempt to drain a wound yourself because you could make it worse or spread the MRSA infection.
    • To prevent MRSA from spreading to others, keep wounds clean and covered with clean, dry bandages until they are healed.

Advanced Bio Treatment is here for you 24 hours every day of the year. We take emergency calls and work with your insurance company. Should you need our services, please call us at 800-295-1684.

Ted Pelot Owner & President of Crime Scene Cleanup Company - Advanced Bio-Treatment