[member-grid items=” Ted Humphry” perrow=”4″ linkprofiles=”1″ /]MRSA – (METHCILLIN RESISTANT STAPH AUREUS)
In the last decade, a new type of staphylococcal (staph) bacteria infection, resistant to common staph antibiotics, has emerged in the community. This is true over most of the world. This kind of staph infection can be serious and difficult to treat, however the majority of people get over it without serious problems.

Like other forms of staph, MRSA, can cause boils or large pimples, but also lots of small infections in the hair follicles, or sometimes redness, puffiness, and soreness (cellulitis) in tissue without pus. These infections can become rapidly worse and cause fever, chills, vomiting, lethargy and mental changes.

Treating MRSA and preventing recurrence requires more than simply giving antibiotics.

MRSA may be treated with antibiotics applied topically, mupirocin (Bactroban), or with antibiotics given by mouth (Septra, Bactrim, or clindamycin). In addition, the environment, including bathtubs, sinks, toilets, changing tables, tabletops, countertops, doorknobs, etc., should be disinfected and wiped down with a solution containing 1 tsp of bleach to 1 quart of water. Ideally this should be repeated several times over a week. Bedding and clothes should be changed and washed. Use bleach on the sheets, diapers, pillow cases, etc. Staph is often carried in the nose and mupirocin can be used inside the nose several times a day for a week. This should include the person having recurrent staph, but also often other people in the family. Use hexachlorophene (Phisohex and other brand names) for washing hands and taking showers. This should not be used for babies or young children because of possible side effects on the brain. Chlorhexadine cream, ointment, or soap (Hebiclens, Betasept, and others) seems to be safe in children and can also be applied topically.

The most important thing you can do to prevent the spread of MRSA is wash your hands, and encourage other people to do the same.

If a staph infection seems to be getting worse rapidly, especially if there is a fever, seek medical attention without delay.

All of this sounds like pretty scary stuff, but again the vast majority of people who have MRSA on their skin have no symptoms or get over minor infections without difficulty.