How Does A Person Get MRSA?
MRSA is a bacterial infection affecting the skin. The MRSA bacteria are spread from one person to the other through direct skin touch or by utilization of the infected personal items such as a razor, utensil, and towels or in a hospital setting through infected hospital equipment. There can be an increase in community-acquired MRSA and measures should be taken to avoid infection. The bacterium finds its way in the body from cuts and abrasions. The transmission of infection mostly occurs from the infected person rather than the carriers.
Staphylococcus is a common bacteria found in most human bodies. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2% of the American population carries MRSA. They are generally present in skin and nose. If these bacteria find their way into the skin and the body, it can cause infections. 5% of the US population suffers from Staph infections and MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) is one of the most common causes of skin infections. MRSA infection can be treated and symptoms fade-off, if left untreated for a long time it can spread to internal organs and cause pneumonia. The antibiotics which have developed resistant to one form of bacteria may show resistant to all of its similar forms making it ineffective. If at all antibiotics are used appropriately, a single antibiotic may not be effective for treating all the infections. MRSA has become resistant to antibiotics such as methicillin, amoxicillin, penicillin, and oxacillin. Researchers have been constantly working on developing new effective medicines.
MRSA can be classified as
- Community acquired MRSA
- Hospital acquired MRSA
The infection which has occurred in the absence of any hospital visit is called Community-Associated MRSA (CA-MRSA). MRSA infection can be transmitted through touch, so the best control measure is to avoid contact with the known infected person and avoid usage of their utensils and other items. The prevalence is high in populations who are near hospitals. MRSA can be spread through contact of people in a community (house, office, school or college) from the infected person or utilizing the infected articles or can be hospital acquired. MRSA should be treated spontaneously, as it can result in sepsis. According to a study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association, young adults are more frequently affected by MRSA when compared to older adults. The average age of adults infected with MRSA was 23 years. As per a study at any given point of time, 70 persons (approx.) are at a hospital for MRSA in Minnesota.
Hospital-acquired MRSA can be harmful and can result in surgical site infections and bloodstream infections which can be fatal. There have been decreases in the hospital-acquired MRSA from 2011-2013.
- Most people carrying MRSA remain asymptomatic and do not produce any symptoms of infection. The carriers themselves may not produce symptoms but can transmit the infection to others. People who have MRSA are at risk and can get MRSA are-
- People gathering where skin-to-skin contact is possible (daycare, schools, workplaces, Military camps, sports activity, prisoners in jail, etc.). The infection is easily spread easily through cuts and abrasions.
- Utilizing the infected utensils which can find the way through skin abrasions.
- Inpatients are at increased risk of infections. Infected surgical instruments such as catheters or implanted feeding tubes also act as a source of infection. The invasive equipment such as intravenous lines or urinary catheters induces infection directly in the blood and body cavity.
- Use of infected medical devices increases the risk of MRSA.
- Homosexual males are at increased risk of MRSA infection. Drug abusers, who inject the drug intravenously are more than 16 times at increased risk of invasive MRSA infections.
MRSA mostly affects the people who have a weak immune defense mechanism, elderly, from hospitals and health care centers.