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Understanding MRSA Can Help Prevent Against It

Aug 27, 2008
Most people have heard of a Staph infection. A Staph infection is when the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus is on the body and there is an opening of sorts that allow the bacteria to get in. When that happens, an infection can happen. It's common in hospital settings because of how many different bacteria are going around. For most people, their knowledge of Staph ends with the normal, simple, Staphylococcus aureus.

That would have been the case until a few years ago when suddenly, MRSA became a huge scare to people. People were talking about it as if it the Black plague had come back again. Standing for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, MRSA is a mean bacteria that can do a lot more damage to the body because of how resistant it is to so many different types of bacteria. Unlike a normal Staph infection that can be treated with a regimen of antibiotics, MRSA is immune to so many of them.

The symptoms of a breakout of MRSA (or any Staph infection) for that matter starts with simple bumps that appear to be little red pimples. Unfortunately, these can quickly turn into painful, deep abscesses that can only be treated with surgery. That happens if the bacterium stays on the surface of the body. If it gets into the body, it can do tremendous damage to bones, joints, the bloodstream, lungs, and the heart valves. As can be seen, a Staph infection is very serious.

Because of that, it makes perfect sense why people were so petrified of MRSA. In the hospital setting, there is one antibiotic that doctors are known to prescribe called vancomycin. This antibiotic is known for treating resistant germs and is lethal against MRSA. Once again, though, doctors are finding that there are new strains of MRSA popping up that are resistant to vancomycin. Doctors now are treating it by not even administering an antibiotic, but instead, draining abscess caused by the MRSA. If they can drain it, perhaps the MRSA will go away.

The simple truth, though, is that while treating MRSA might seem like the best thing you can do, the reality is: prevention is key. If you can prevent the spread of MRSA rather than worry about it only after you have it, it won't spread. The trick to preventing the spread of MRSA are the following tips:

* Wear gloves when dealing with a patient that is a potential carrier of MRSA.

* Wash your hands before and after dealing with any patient in case you have MRSA on your hands.

* Wash your own hands often, even if you're not in the medical field. Proper hygiene can definitely help prevent against it.

These are just three techniques that people suggest will help lessen the amount of cases of MRSA. Because of its severity, people need to do everything they can to try and limit its spread. It is life-threatening if not dealt with appropriately and people have and can die from it. But, if people take proper care in preventing against it, they have nothing to worry about. Until then, though, scientists will continue creating new antibiotics to try and counter this resistant bug.
About the Author
Jacob is a biology major with aspirations to get his PhD in virology and become a professor. He runs his biology news blog where he posts the latest in biological news and his opinions on what is going on in the field. He write about numerous different topics including neurobiology, ecology, medicine, and microbiology.
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