MRSA & Antibiotic resistant staph

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In summary, MRSA (Methicillin resistant staphlococcus areus) is on the rise. Schools are reporting outbreaks of this nasty bug. Early detection and treatment is essential.
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This subject has popped up in the headlines recently. Apparently infections by MRSA (Methicillin resistant staphlococcus areus) are on the rise.

A Nasty Bug Breaks Out
Drug-resistant staph bacteria now stalk even students
http://health.usnews.com/articles/health/2007/10/18/a-nasty-bug-breaks-out.html

Hunter’s terrifying experience is not an isolated event. Once confined primarily to hospitals and healthcare institutions, antibiotic-resistant staph is now increasingly attacking healthy people in communities across the country. Schools nationwide have been reporting outbreaks: Last Monday, the MRSA-related death of a 17-year-old Virginia student—one of three such fatalities in recent weeks—spurred officials to close 21 area schools for cleaning; schools in other states have been evacuated for disinfection. Jaime Fergie, the pediatric infections specialist who treated Hunter at Driscoll Children’s Hospital, has observed exponential growth in such MRSA cases at the hospital in recent years, including three deaths since 2005.

"Young, healthy people who haven't been to a hospital since birth [are] getting sick," says Elizabeth Bancroft of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. Across all age groups, MRSA was the culprit behind more than 94,000 life-threatening infections and almost 19,000 deaths in the United States in 2005, researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated last week in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

When detected early, even resistant staph is very treatable, says Neil Fishman, a physician and spokesman for the Infectious Diseases Society of America. The first sign of infection can be boils, which sometimes resemble spider bites and tend to become red, hot, and tender, or larger skin abscesses. While severe cases like Hunter's are rare, suspicious wounds should get medical attention. It's during treatment that MRSA can reveal its most frightening side: Unlike common staph, it's impervious to all but a few antibiotics. Specialized drugs can still kill it, however.

. . .

Guarding Against Staph Infections
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=15479947

Staph Killing More Americans Than AIDS
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=15391478

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methicillin-resistant_Staphylococcus_aureus

I have also heard more frequently warnings about meningitis, particularly for children and young adults.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meningitis#Causes
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neisseria_meningitidis

Be careful about sharing food and drink with acquaintances and wash hands periodically when in public places.
 
Biology news on Phys.org
  • #2
Giving this thread a bump. We cannot make it a sticky, but it is still good information.
 

Related to MRSA & Antibiotic resistant staph

What is MRSA and how is it different from regular staph?

MRSA stands for Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus and it is a type of bacteria that is resistant to certain antibiotics. Regular staph, also known as Staphylococcus Aureus, is a common bacteria that can cause various infections. The main difference between the two is that MRSA is resistant to many antibiotics, making it more difficult to treat.

How is MRSA transmitted?

MRSA is primarily transmitted through direct contact with an infected wound or through contact with contaminated objects or surfaces. It can also be spread through contact with the nose or skin of an infected person.

What are the symptoms of an MRSA infection?

The symptoms of an MRSA infection can vary depending on the site of the infection. However, common symptoms include redness, swelling, and warmth at the site of infection, as well as fever, chills, and body aches. In some cases, MRSA can cause more serious infections, such as pneumonia or bloodstream infections.

How is MRSA diagnosed?

MRSA can be diagnosed through a physical examination, a culture of the infected area, and a sensitivity test to determine which antibiotics will be effective. It is important to seek medical attention if you suspect you have an MRSA infection, as prompt treatment is crucial.

How can MRSA infections be prevented?

To prevent MRSA infections, it is important to practice good hygiene, such as washing your hands regularly and keeping wounds clean and covered. It is also important to avoid sharing personal items, such as towels and razors, with others. If you have a known MRSA infection, it is important to follow your doctor's instructions for treatment and precautions to prevent spreading the infection to others.

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