MRSA can present a serious health threat. However, hospitals and health care workers are looking for ways to fight back in handling MRSA.
Hospitals are beginning to track outbreaks of MRSA. Antibiotic-coated catheters and disinfectant-lined gloves are a first line of defense. However, the best way to prevent the spread of MRSA and other contagions is through frequent, proper hand washing, disinfection of all surfaces around the hospital or medical center, and taking precautions like wearing a mask when working with patients whose immune systems are compromised.
MRSA is becoming more of a threat to athletes. Once mostly confined to hospitals, this super bug is now crossing into the general population, and is infecting athletes at all levels and in all sports. Here is what you need to know to keep yourself safe.
Bacteria infections among athletes are not rare, though they can make it difficult to perform your best. In many cases, bacterial infections can be treated with antibiotics like penicillin, amoxicillin, methicillin, and oxacillin. MRSA, however, is resistant to antibiotics, making it difficult to treat.
Spread on the Rise
Unfortunately, the spread of MRSA in sports is on the rise. Before 2002, drug resistant infections were rarely heard of in a healthy population of athletes. Some of the first cases showed up on football teams, though it has since spread to other sports.
MRSA is a highly antibiotic-resistant form of staph infection. Left untreated, it can cause infections throughout the body and even lead to death. However, many times it gets misdiagnosed, and doctors prescribe patients medications that will not cure here. Luckily, a new test on the market makes it faster to detect MRSA.
The microbiology laboratories in hospitals are constantly looking for ways to improve the care that the patients staying there receive. Part of this is making sure that patients are properly diagnosed so that they can get the care and medications that they need. One company in the UK has created a battlefield-inspired test for MRSA Ã¢â‚¬â€œ the BacLite Rapid MRSA test which is currently being used in hospitals through the UK and Ireland.
Many individuals will tell you that MRSA infections return. Even when treated with antibiotic and seemingly “cured”, infections can return later. The infections can spread through family members. MRSA infections leaves your immune system weakened so the individual is susceptible to other illnesses.
The MRSA bacterium loves to live in the nasal passages of individuals. We touch our nose and then touch other body parts spreading the MRSA bacteria to other parts of our body or to other persons that we touch or to surfaces that are then touched by others.
With MRSA being so prevalent in the news lately, many people are worried about coming down with the disease. Unfortunately, almost anyone can be at risk, since MRSA has made its way out of hospitals and into the general population. If you are in one of the high risk groups for contacting MRSA, here is a look at the symptoms you should look out for.
However, there are not just one or two symptoms that definitively define MRSA. The symptoms of MRSA can vary greatly depending on where in the body the infection occurs. This is why it is so important to see your primary care physician if you suspect an infection.
Common sites of MRSA infections include:
Surgical wounds from recent surgeries
Burns (especially second and third degree burns)
Catheter sites from both urinary and blood catheters
Staph infections can have a variety of treatments, depending on the severity and location of the infection. MRSA, a form of staph infection that is resistant to many antibiotics, can be a little more difficult to treat. Here is a look at some of the options you have to treat staph and MRSA infections.
Keeping the area clean is an important part of curing staph infections. Antibiotic soaps and warm, moist compresses a few times of day can help to clean the wound out.
Severe infections may require antibiotics. If the staph infection is MRSA, your doctor may need to do a culture to determine which antibiotic will be most effective in treating your infection.
In the most serious cases, IV antibiotics may need to be administered. These IV antibiotics are also used for staph infections of the face. If the staph infection is on an internal organ, surgery may be required to treat it.
A January 27, 2007 article on about a super bug that kills healthy young adults in 24 hours caught manypeople’s attention. The superbug was identified as the bacteria called PVL-producing MRSA. This is a highly virulent strain of the Staphylococcus aureus bacteria commonly known as the Staph infection. The Staph infection is resistant to antibiotics and decimates white blood cells and can also cause boils to appear.
When this bacteria gets into an open would it can start the process for necrotizing pneumonia. This type of pneumonia destroys lung tissue. The survival rate for necrotizing pneumonia is only 25%. There have been fatalities from the PVL-MRSA strain in England, Wales, United States, United Kingdom, Australia and in Europe.
A study from Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine has shown that microscopic air pollution – smaller than one-tenth of the diameter of a human hair — causes hyperclotting of the blood. The study found that lungs inflamed by particulate pollution produce an inflammatory cytokine, interleukin-6, that causes an increased tendency for blood to coagulate or clot. (3) This in turn raises the risk of a fatal heart attack or stroke in people with cardiovascular disease such as coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure or a history of stroke.