What Are the Basics of MRSA Infection?

What is MRSA infection?

MRSA is the abbreviated form of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. If a type of staph bacteria becomes resistant to most common antibiotics, MRSA infections may occur.

It is more likely to affect people living in health care settings, such as hospitals and nursing homes, and it is known as health care-associated MRSA (HA-MRSA).

Sometimes people call MRSA a superbug since it is resistant to many antibiotics. Although MRSA infections tend to be mild, some of them still can be life-threatening.


What are the symptoms of MRSA infection?

Mostly, it starts with red bumps that are swollen and painful, and they may look like spider bites or rashes.

The affected areas can be:

  • Tender
  • Warm to touch
  • Full of pus or boils

You may also have a fever.


What are the causes of MRSA infection?

Various types of staph live in the noses or on the skin of many people as common bacteria, and they do not cause infections. However, once they enter the body, such as through a cut, MRSA infections can occur.

Many conditions can be treated by antibiotics, but if the use of antibiotics lasts for a long time, some types of staph including MRSA may be resistant to antibiotics and will not respond to the drugs.   

How to prevent MRSA infections?

Here are some tips for you to prevent MRSA infections:

  • Wash your hands carefully
    Wash your hands frequently with soap and water can help avoid MRSA infections. Hand sanitizer containing alcohol is helpful.
  • Don’t share personal items with others
    These include towels, clothing, sheets, etc.
  • Shower after athletic practices
    Take a shower promptly after any game or practice. It is also necessary to take a shower after skin-to-skin contact.

If you are in the hospital, more strict contact precautions are needed. Don’t let staff touch you before they have washed their hands.


How to diagnose MRSA infections?

To diagnose MRSA infection, your doctor needs to check a sample of your affected tissue and send it to a lab. The lab will encourage bacterial growth by putting the sample and nutrients together. After a period of time, the lab can find whether the staph exists.


What are the treatments for MRSA infections?

If the infections are mild, your doctor may help drain, clean and cover the affected areas. Since MRSA can be resistant to certain antibiotics, you may not be prescribed any drug.

In some cases, oral antibiotics can help improve the conditions.


These are some basics of MRSA infections. If you are looking for more detailed information, it is recommended to consult a doctor.

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* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.