Staphylococcus aureus is a bacterium found in 30% of the normal healthy people which is mostly found in the nose or their skin without causing any problem to the person. This bacterium is mostly sensitive to antibiotics and can be treated easily. But staphylococcus bacteria oftentimes become resistant to some antibiotics and this bacteria was even called to as “superbug” because of that characteristic (Methecillin Resistant, 2006). When infection sets in caused by this type of bacteria, that I the time when problem occurs. The first strains of the Staphylococcus aureus which are resistant to methecillin were detected in 1950 in Germany It was then called the methecillin-resistant S. aureus which then became the cause of nosocomial infections and even became endemic in the United States. In the 1980s there was only a 4% incidence of the infection caused in large US Hospitals but the National Nosocomial Infections Surveillance System (NNISS) recorded an increase of 50% by the year 1990s. Since then, taking care of patients with infections caused by this bacteria became difficult because of the need of determining the antibiotic that would be used as this bacteria is already resistant to many of the antibiotics (Rebeiro, et. al., 2004).
Reports have been made worldwide about the cases of community-associated MRSA or the CA-MRSA. The patients having this infection were reported to have the following predisposing factors: having a serious illness such as diseases involving the cardiovascular system, patients who have intravenous drug use, patients with diabetes mellitus, AIDS, renal failure or carcinoma, with a history of an antibiotic therapy or residing in a nursing home (Rebeiro, et. al., 2004).
This study would look into what Staphylococcus aureus is and what methecillin resistant staphylococcus is. The study would also discuss what the different disease characteristics are of methecillin-resistant S. aureus. The study would also cover what treatments are appropriate for the disease and would also include the discussion of how we can prevent the infection.
What is Methecillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus?
Methecillin-resistant S. aureus are a type of bacteria belonging to staphylococcus that are resistant to many types of antibiotics. This kind of bacteria normally lives on the skin of a person but causing no problems to that certain person. However, this type of bacteria is different from the other types because of the difficulty of the treatment for this kind of infection which is resistant to many antibiotics that would include methecillin (Methecillin Resistant). This bacteria is commonly referred to as “staph” or “staph A” and when it causes infection may cause minor infections such as pimples or boils or it may lead to a major complication as blood infection or pneumonia (Methecillin-resistant).
This type of bacteria develops when antibiotics are used as often or if the antibiotics are not used properly because in a prolonged usage of antibiotics, bacteria may outsmart antibiotics making them more resistant to antibiotic treatments and thus the reason why they are termed as “super bugs” (Methecillin-Resistant).
What are the disease characteristics of MRSA?
The symptoms have shown when a person has MRSA depend on where the infection occurs. The following symptoms may occur: cellulitis- an infection that is located in the skin or the fat tissues that are beneath the skin and would usually start as a small red bump on the skin, boils – infection of the hair follicles which are pus-filled, abscesses – pus collections that are located under the skin, sty – eyelid gland infections, carbuncles – infection which are larger than carbuncles which usually has several openings to the skin, impetigo – an infection in the skin which is usually a blister filled with pus. However, the infection caused by MRSA is that symptoms are not these simple. They may spread to almost any organ in the body that may cause more severe symptoms other than the ones mentioned. If MRSA spreads to the internal organs it may cause a life-threatening infection. Symptoms that need immediate medical attention especially if they are associated with skin infections are the following: high body temperature (fever), chills, hypotension (low blood pressure), pain in the joints, headaches which are severe, shortness of breath that is accompanied by rashes found all over the body (MRSA Infection). In some serious cases, it may even include lethargy. MRSA may also cause infections in the urinary tract, pneumonia, and a person may develop a cough, toxic shock syndrome and the worst case may cause death (Methecillin-Resistant).
Treatment for MRSA Infection
Even though MRSA is antibiotic-resistant, there is a treatment for MRSA infections. A few antibiotics may help in the treatment of MRSA infections but for patients that are only colonized with the bacteria usually does not require to be treated (Methecillin-Resistant). Examples of antibiotics that help in the treatment of MRSA are the vancomycin (Vancocin), linezolid (Zyvox) and some other drugs. For the carriers of MRSA, a musician antibiotic cream can help in the elimination of mucous membrane colonization (MRSA Infection).
MRSA is a bacteria that is hard to treat. Using a single antibiotic may help the bacteria develop resistance to the antibiotic treatments. Resistance with a certain antibiotic may change quickly, treatment as well may also need to change. Some people think that when symptoms for MRSA disappear it is okay to stop medication. But little did they know that MRSA may reinfect the person and the antibiotic may not be enough to cure the infection. Thus it is necessary to complete the dosage the doctor required to be sure that the infection is cured.
How can MRSA be prevented?
There are a lot of ways wherein we can control the spread of MRSA. In hospital setting the following practices may help in preventing the spread of MRSA.
- Handwashing is one especially after removing the gloves when taking care of patients and before assisting on a procedure.
- Gloving is another way especially when the task calls for touching blood, body fluids and contaminated fluids and remove the gloves after the procedure.
- Wearing a mask would help especially if procedures would likely have splashes of droplets of blood or body fluids.
- Gowning is another protection when body fluids or blood are likely to splash out (Methecillin Resistant).
When at home or in a community the following practices may be helpful to void having MRSA:
- Practicing good hygiene
- Being smart about antibiotics
- Take antibiotics as prescribed by the doctor
- Do not share personal items
- Do not take antibiotics when not prescribed by the doctor
- If in the hospital be sure to remind doctors and nurses to wash hands before touching you.
When you already have the MRSA, you can prevent the spread of the bacteria by:
- Covering your wound with clean and dry bandages and take good care of your wounds.
- Keep your hands clean.
- do not share personal belongings so as not to infect others with MRSA.
- keep environment always clean.
These are ways to help prevent the spread of MRSA either in the hospital or in the community or even in our very own homes. This way w can be safe from MRSA.
Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus. 2005. Web.
Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Norwich Union Risk Services. 2006.
Prevalence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) among patients visiting the emergency room at a tertiary hospital in Brazil. Ribiero et. al. 2004. Web.