MRSA: Causes & Symptoms

by Meenakshi Nagdeve last updated -

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The risk of infection is everywhere, and MRSA remains one of the most dangerous infections a person can get. Believe it or not, the MRSA bacterium is carried by an estimated 2% of the population, although few of these people manifest symptoms.

What is MRSA?

The full name of MRSA is Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus, and it usually manifests as a skin infection like sores or boils. Though, in severe cases, it may also result in very serious skin infections or infect the lungs, blood or the urinary tract.

The reason it receives so much attention is that it is highly resistant to most forms of antibiotics. Since it was first discovered in the 1960s, MRSA has become resistant to methicillin, amoxicillin, penicillin and other common antibiotics that are used to eliminate bacterial infections. As medicines evolve, so too does the infection, making it difficult to treat and eliminate.

Causes

Though these bacteria are common and usually found on the skin or in the nose, the causes of MRSA are as follows:

  • Low immunity or infection: Staph bacteria is in most cases, relatively harmless, but it can become much more dangerous when it enters the body through a wound or infected area, or when the immune system is already compromised.
  • Physical contact: The MRSA strain is a danger to many people because it can be easily spread through physical contact. Simply touching someone else with it on their skin can be enough for contamination.
  • Being ill or infirm: In hospitals and long-term care centers, MRSA infections can be devastating and deadly, as many of the people who become infected are already battling another condition, or are advanced in age.

Symptoms

MRSA starts off as inflamed, painful red bumps, and these affected regions would:

  • Radiate warmth
  • Contain pus or other fluid
  • Be accompanied by a fever

Staph skin infections of this kind rapidly turn into deep, extremely difficult abscesses that need to be surgically drained.

About the Author

Meenakshi Nagdeve holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Management from IIM Bangalore and B. Tech in Metallurgical Engineering and Materials Science from IIT Bombay. She is a health and wellness enthusiast and started working on Organic Facts since 2012 and is currently responsible for managing it. Prior to this, she worked for a few years in IT and Financial services. In her free time, she loves to travel and taste different types of teas.

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