MRSA Infection (cont.)
Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
In this Article
- MRSA infections facts
- What is methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)?
- What does a MRSA infection look like?
- What are the risk factors for MRSA infections?
- What are the signs and symptoms of a MRSA infection?
- How is a MRSA infection transmitted or spread?
- How is a MRSA infection diagnosed?
- How should caregivers treat MRSA patients at home?
- What is the treatment for a MRSA infection?
- What is the prognosis (outlook) of a MRSA infection?
- How can people prevent a MRSA infection?
- What are the potential complications of a MRSA infection?
- What is a superbug?
- Where are other MRSA information sources?
- Pictures of MRSA - Slideshow
- Take the MRSA Quiz!
- Pictures of Staph Infection - Slideshow
- MRSA Infection FAQs
- Find a local Infectious Disease Specialist in your town
What does a MRSA infection look like?
On the skin, MRSA infection may begin as a reddish rash with lesion(s) that looks like a pimple or small boil. Often it progresses to an open, inflamed area of skin (as pictured below) that may weep pus or drain other similar fluid. In some instances, it may appear as an abscess, a swollen, tender area, often with reddish skin covering. When the abscess is cut open or spontaneously bursts open, pus drains from the area.
What are the risk factors for MRSA infections?
People with higher risk of MRSA infection are those with obvious skin breaks (for example, patients with surgical or traumatic wounds or hospital patients with intravenous lines, burns, or skin ulcers) and people with depressed immune systems (infants, the elderly, or HIV-infected individuals) or those with chronic diseases (diabetes or cancer). People with pneumonia (lung infection) due to MRSA can transmit MRSA by airborne droplets. Health-care workers as a group are repeatedly exposed to MRSA-positive patients and can have a high rate of infection if precautions are not taken. Consequently, health-care workers and patient visitors should use disposable masks, gowns, and gloves when they enter the MRSA-infected patient's room. As long as people, including carriers, have MRSA organisms in wounds or droplets that are shed into the environment, they are contagious. Carriers must be very careful about personal hygiene (especially coughs, itching or scratching skin, and sneezing) as they may be contagious indefinitely.
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