Can MRSA In The Nose Spread To Other Parts Of The Body?

I am sure you all know the answer to this question, Yes; MRSA in the nose can spread to other parts of your body. If your nose is colonized with MRSA bacteria when you touch your nose, pick your nose or blow your nose the bacteria will come to your fingers and hand. After that without washing your hands if you touch face, neck, arms, stomach or legs then the MRSA bacteria will be spread to those areas as well. As you all know MRSA can colonize the skin as well, this includes any part of the skin. Most of the articles talk about how MRSA infection spread to others from a colonized person, but that person can spread the MRSA bacteria to other parts of their own body too. (1)

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Can MRSA In The Nose Spread To Other Parts Of The Body?

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This can be very dangerous if you have a cut injury or a wound in the skin. Then, the MRSA bacteria can enter the deep layers of the skin or the blood through this wound. It can cause an infection in the cut or in the wound which can be serious. (2)

If you have MRSA colonization on your nose after touching your nose these organisms will spread to the fingers and hands. If you touch any part of your body before washing your hands MRSA can spread to those places as well. The danger in that is if the MRSA lodge into a place with a cut injury or wound then it can infect it.

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Therefore, proper hand washing and other precautions are important to prevent MRSA from spreading to the rest of your body and to other people as well.

MRSA Skin Infections

MRSA skin infections do not have any particular site, but can occur anywhere in the skin where a breach in the skin is present. The common sites for MRSA infection are back of the neck, buttocks, groin, and legs.

Clinical Features

  • Fever – fever is not a specific symptom and it Is not a bad symptom. It means your immune system is active and trying to fight off the infection.
  • Redness – redness in the affected area, it is one of the inflammatory reactions in order to eliminate the infection
  • Pain – along with redness there would be pain in the affected area and this is also an inflammatory reaction.
  • Swelling – the affected area might look bit swollen which is an inflammatory reaction.
  • Increased Temperature – the affected area would be warm to touch than the other parts of the body. This is also an inflammatory reaction for the immune system to fight off the infection.
  • Difficulty In Functioning – because of the inflammatory reaction the function of the affected area is limited. E.g. if the wound is in the leg then you would find it difficult to walk or you will walk with a limp. (3)
  • Oozing Of Pus – sometimes the fluid oozing from the wound is yellow in color which is called pus. This contains dead immune cells, dead bacteria, and other cellular debris. If there is increase oozing of pus you need to get proper medical treatment in order to drain the pus.

If you have the above symptoms then you need to seek medical advice to diagnose and to treat the infection. If the culture is positive you need to be treated with either oral or intravenous antibiotics depending on the site and type of infection. E.g. cellulitis needs to be treated with IV antibiotics, therefore you need to be hospitalized for the treatment. One important thing you should remember is until you get treatment and even after initiation of the treatment you need to cover the wound with a bandage as an infected wound contains lots of MRSA bacteria around that area and you can easily spread the infection to another person or your wound can contaminate equipment and surfaces. Make sure to always cover your wound until it is healed adequately.

References:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3443268/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6186810/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19880619

Also Read:

Sheetal DeCaria MD

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

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Last Modified On: June 3, 2019

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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