MRSA Treatment in Bristol, VA
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a bacterial staph infection well known for its resistance to the most common antibiotics used to treat staph infections—including methicillin, from which it originally drew its name. MRSA staph infections were initially seen only in hospitals or other healthcare settings like nursing homes, but because of its resistance to treatment, MRSA has spread into communities among otherwise healthy people.
Left untreated, MRSA can lead to infections in the bloodstream (sepsis), or conditions like pneumonia and bone or heart infections that can quickly become deadly. Fortunately, MRSA treatment is available to address the infection and associated health conditions which may develop as a result of the infection.
To meet with a qualified healthcare provider in Bristol who can properly address your MRSA infection, call (423) 482-8711 or contact AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center online.
How Is MRSA Transmitted?
Staphylococcus aureus, the bacteria responsible for causing MRSA infections, is fairly common, and roughly 30 percent of the population carry the bacteria—most often in their nostrils or on their skin—without it posing any threat to their health. Staph bacteria becomes dangerous, however, when it manages to enter the body through a cut or wound.
Spread by contact, MRSA is transmitted by touching a person who may have the bacteria on the skin or by coming into contact with an object that has the bacteria on it. For that reason, skin infections often spread in daycares, schools and especially during athletic games or in locker rooms. In healthcare settings, MRSA can develop around surgical wounds or devices such as feeding tubes or catheters.
Life-threatening, systemic MRSA infection is more common in people who:
- Suffer from a chronic illness
- Have a weakened or compromised immune system
- Were in a hospital or long-term care facility recently
- Used an antibiotic in the past month
- Have a history of MRSA infection
- Had close contact with a person with a similar infection
What Are MRSA Symptoms and How Is It Diagnosed?
A MRSA infection typically begins with sores or boils forming on the skin, which may be painful, hot to touch, inflamed or swollen. As the infection progresses, additional MRSA symptoms may include:
- Fever of 100.4 °F or higher
- Muscle aches and pains
- General malaise or fatigue
- Breathlessness or a cough
- Chest pains
- Unexplained rash
MRSA skin infections are often mistaken for spider bites because they both manifest with a dark center that is surrounded by a red, swollen or tender area. It may also look like a pimple with a circle of pus around it. If you have a wound that appears infected, you should see a healthcare provider promptly. Do not attempt to drain the wound yourself since the pus may be infected with MRSA and may spread to other parts of your body. Wash any personal items that may have come into contact with the wound.
To diagnose a MRSA staph infection, your healthcare provider will examine your skin infection or infected wound and take a culture from the infected area. Your urine, blood or saliva may also be tested for evidence of MRSA.
What Are the Treatment Options for MRSA?
Most people with MRSA skin infections recover without incident. Sometimes the simple incision and drainage of an infected wound is adequate for healing. Topical or oral antibiotics, or a combination of the two, can typically address skin infections. Specific antibiotics must be used that are known to work with MRSA infections.
With severe cases of MRSA infection, intravenous or IV antibiotics are usually necessary. Antibiotic resistance is being seen with many of these IV antibiotics, but there are still antibiotics that work. Systemic MRSA infections can develop into a life-threatening condition, requiring surgery, life support or other advanced medical interventions. Certain associated health conditions may require treatment (e.g., breathing treatments for pneumonia, etc.).
How Can I Prevent a MRSA Infection?
Many of the causes of MRSA infection are completely avoidable with good hygiene like simple handwashing. Showering after sporting events or any activity that involves direct skin-to-skin contact with others is a good practice too. If you get a cut, scrape or any type of wound, clean and bandage it immediately; covered wounds heal quicker and are less susceptible to infection.
It's also important to not share personal items like razors, hairbrushes, toothbrushes, towels, food or drink, or any items that may have had contact with bodily fluids or a wound from another person. Wipe down surfaces with disinfectants regularly. Studies have shown that MRSA can survive up to 3 weeks on cotton (clothing or towels) and a month or longer on plastic surfaces.
Maintaining a strong immune system through proper diet, regular exercise, adequate sleep and good health habits, including immune-boosting herbs and supplements can help to prevent infections like MRSA.
Request more information about MRSA infection and your prevention and treatment options today. Call (423) 482-8711 or contact AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center online.
AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center
Address1604 Lamons Lane
Johnson City, TN 37604
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Tue: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Wed: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Thu: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Fri: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm