MRSA Prevention, Risk Factors, Symptoms And Treatment


Methicillin-resistant A strain of the staph bacterium that causes Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection has evolved a resistance to many of the medications formerly used to treat common staph infections.

Those who have visited hospitals or other healthcare institutions, including nursing homes and dialysis centers, are most commonly infected with MRSA. Healthcare-associated MRSA is the term used to describe it when it appears in these settings (HA-MRSA). Invasive operations or equipment, such as surgeries, intravenous tubing, or prosthetic joints, are frequently linked to HA-MRSA infections. Healthcare professionals who touch patients or patients who touch filthy surfaces might spread HA-MRSA.

In the larger population, among healthy individuals, another kind of MRSA infection has been reported. A painful skin boil is typically the first sign of MRSA (CA-MRSA). Typically skin-to-skin contact is how it is disseminated. Those who live in crowded quarters, childcare workers, and high school wrestlers are examples of at-risk populations.


The germs Staphylococcus aureus, or "staph," come in a variety of forms. Around one-third of people typically have Staph germs on their noses or on their skin. Even then, they often only cause minor skin issues in healthy individuals since the bacteria are mostly harmless until they enter the body through a cut or other lesion.

The MRSA strain of staph bacterium is persistently carried by around 5% of the population.

Bacterial resistance

Antibiotic usage that was frequently unwarranted over many years led to MRSA. For colds, the flu, and other viral illnesses that do not react to these medications, doctors have been prescribing antibiotics for years. Even when administered properly, antibiotics nevertheless lead to the development of due to the fact that not all of the germs they target get eliminated by drugs. Because bacteria evolve quickly, pathogens that survive treatment with one antibiotic quickly pick up the ability to resist others.

How to check if you have MRSA?

Keep an eye out for children's wounds, scratches, and minor skin issues like pimples and bug bites. See a doctor if wounds seem infected or are accompanied by a fever.

Risk Factors

The risk factors for hospital and community strains of MRSA vary because they often develop in distinct environments.

The dangers of HA-MRSA

Being in a hospital. MRSA is still a problem in hospitals because it may infect the most defenseless patients, such as the elderly and those with compromised immune systems.

Having a medical gadget that is intrusive. Medical tubings, such as urinary catheters or intravenous lines, can be a route for MRSA to enter your body.

Living at an institution providing long-term care. Nursing facilities have a high MRSA prevalence. Even if they are not ill themselves, MRSA carriers have the potential to spread the infection.

MRSA CA risk factors

Taking part in contact sports. MRSA is easily contagious through skin-to-skin contact, wounds, and scrapes.

Living in an unclean or congested environment. MRSA at prisons, child care facilities, and military training camps, epidemics have happened.

Having intercourse with other men. Males who engage in male intercourse are more likely to get MRSA infections.

Being HIV positive. Those who have HIV are more likely to get MRSA infections.

Using illegal narcotics for injection. MRSA infections are more common in users of illegally administered medications via injection.


MRSA and other staph skin infections typically begin as painful, bloated red lumps that resemble pimples or spider bites. Possible impacted areas include:

  • Areas that are warm to the touch.
  •  Areas with excessive pus or other discharge
  • Coupled with a fever

These red pimples have a rapid capability to develop into painful, deep boils (abscesses) that call for surgical drainage. The bacterium can occasionally only be found on the skin. Yet, they may also penetrate the body deeply and cause infections that might be fatal in the circulation, heart valves, lungs, joints, bones, and surgical incisions.


Preventing HA-MRSA

In order to stop the spread of MRSA in the hospital, patients with the infection or colonization are frequently isolated. Visitors and medical professionals who care for isolated patients may need protective clothing.

They must also adhere to stringent hand-washing guidelines. For instance, utilizing hand sanitizer before and after each clinical session or washing their hands with soap and water can assist healthcare professionals to prevent HA-MRSA.

Laundry supplies, hospital rooms, furniture, and other objects need to be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected on a regular basis.

Keeping CA-MRSA at bay

Sanitize your hands. The greatest line of defense against germs still remains careful hand washing. For at least 20 seconds, vigorously scrub the hands. Have a little bottle of hand sanitizer with you.

Maintain wound cover. This should be done until the wound heals and also keep scrapes and wounds clean and covered with dry, clean bandages. MRSA may be present in the pus from infected sores, therefore keeping wounds covered can help stop the bacteria's spread.

Keep private stuff private. Do not exchange personal things like towels, bedding, razors, clothes, or sporting gear. MRSA may spread through direct touch as well as on contaminated things.

After a practice or game, take a shower. After every practice or game, take a shower. Employ soap and water. Never exchange towels.

Clean the linens. Wash towels and bed linens in a washing machine set to the hottest water setting if you have a cut or sore.


MRSA strains connected to healthcare facilities and community-based infections can still be treated with certain medicines.

In addition to prescribing medicines, doctors may need to conduct emergency surgery to remove big boils (abscesses).

Antibiotics might not always be required. For instance, rather than using medication to treat an MRSA-related abscess, doctors may choose to drain it.

Complications of MRSA

MRSA infections are more challenging to treat because they may withstand the effects of several popular medications. Because of this, infections might spread and become lethal.

MRSA infections may have an impact on:

  • Bloodstream
  • Lungs
  • Heart
  • Bones
  • Joints


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Page last reviewed: Mar 29, 2023

Next review due: Mar 29, 2025

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