Information on MRSA or 'The Super Bug'
Student Health Services at Lewis-Clark State College wants to inform the campus about MRSA(Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus)or The“Super Bug”
What is MRSA?
MRSA is a bacterium that can cause Staph infections in different parts of the body. Staph is one of the most common causes of skin infections in the United States; however, MRSA is different than most Staph infections as it is difficult to treat because it is resistant to some commonly used antibiotics. Most MRSA infections aren’t serious but some can be life threatening causing serious problems like infected wounds or pneumonia.
Who Gets MRSA?
MRSA is spread by contact—skin to skin, sharing drinking cups, eating utensils, and sharing razors and towels. Crowded living conditions and poor hygiene also contribute to MRSA.
Prevention of MRSA
• Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water or use a 60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Experts say to wash as long as it takes to say the alphabet.
• Cover cuts and scrapes with a clean bandage.
• Do not touch other people’s wounds or bandages and do not share personal items like towels or razors.
• Wipe down gym equipment before and after you use it.
• Dry clothes, sheets and towels in a dryer as this helps to kill the bacteria.
MRSA most often appears as a skin infection, like a boil or abscess. The skin may appear:
• Swollen • Red
• Painful • Pus filled
Many people who actually have MRSA often mistake it for a spider bite. If MRSA infects the lungs and causes pneumonia, you might have:
• Shortness of breath • Fever/Chills
MRSA is treatable with some antibiotics; however, not always necessary. If you are prescribed an antibiotic, follow your healthcare provider’s instructions. Never stop taking your medicine, even if you’re feeling better.
Call Your Doctor If…
A MRSA infection can be serious or-rarely -fatal, don’t ignore the signs of infection. See your healthcare provider. If you are already being treated, watch for signs that your medicine isn’t working. Call your doctor if your infection is not getting better after 3 to 4 days, the infection is worse, you develop a fever, or your fever gets worse.