MRSA (methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus) is a bacterium that can infect various parts of the body. The reason MRSA is so dangerous is because of its resistance to multiple common antibiotics.
Many strains of the bacteria cause serious skin and joint infections, inflammation of the heart, sepsis and death.
What Causes MRSA?
Normal staphylococcus bacteria are found on the skin or inside the noses of about one-third of the population. Most of the time, staph bacteria never infect the host, and people who carry staph remain healthy.
However, sometimes the infection can enter an individual’s body through a cut, abrasion or open sore. Once the bacteria enters the body, an infection can result. This infection can be characterized by a noticeable sore, fever, or pus at the affected site. If left untreated (or if treated with drugs to which the bacteria are resistant), the infection can spread deeper into the body, causing long-term damage.
Methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus infections are categorized two separate ways:
- Healthcare-Acquired MRSA (HA-MRSA): Affects individuals who contract MRSA while staying in healthcare facilities like nursing homes and hospitals
- Community-Acquired MRSA (CA-MRSA): Affects individuals who contract MRSA outside of a healthcare facilities
Patients with HA-MRSA are 67 years of age on average; patients with CA-MRSA are 23 years of age on average.
Who Is At Risk for MRSA?
HA-MRSA most often affects healthcare facility employees. Individuals with diabetes, those who are on dialysis and those who have been hospitalized for extended periods of time are also at risk.
CA-MRSA most commonly affects young children, athletes and intravenous drug abusers.
How is MRSA Spread?
MRSA is spread through skin-to-skin contact with an infected person. You can also contract the bacteria from contact with surfaces or objects that an infected person has touched.
How is MRSA Treated?
It’s important to visit your doctor immediately if you suspect you’ve been infected with a MRSA bacteria. The only way to confirm a diagnosis is to get a laboratory culture of the affected area.
Ocala Infectious Disease & Wound Care is one of central Florida’s leading providers of treatment for infections. We are proud to be a trusted resource for the treatment of MRSA and other bacterial infections.
Contact us today to learn more.