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What is MRSA Colonization?


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What Is MRSA Colonization?


MRSA stands for Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus. MRSA colonization means that a person is carrying bacteria that are antibiotic resistant that cause an infection called MRSA. A person with MRSA colonization may have the bacteria on his skin, inside his nasal cavities, on his or her groin area or even on the underarm areas. Although a person with these bacteria does not have an infection caused by it, a simple wound or the skin breaking can cause this infection to spread in a matter of minutes. People with the bacteria can have it for years without actually knowing that they have it and can also transfer it to other people with something as simple as sharing a towel.


Around 1% of the population carries the antibiotic resistant bacteria on their skins and is usually identified in hospitals. Hospitals staffs themselves are the most susceptible to getting these bacteria on their skins as they have to deal with patients and come in contact frequently with the clothes of the patients or the patients themselves. Even people who are care home residents have more chances to get this on their skin. Vet personnel also have more chances of having these bacteria on their skins without knowing that they have it for years.


All in all, contact with people who are already carrying these drug resistive bacteria or MRSA is what causes other people to get it. Certain social groups or gatherings that are getting constantly in physical contact with each other and sharing common facilities cause the bacteria to spread among themselves and henceforth on to others. As example people on the same sports team who for obvious reasons have to come in contact frequently and have to share facilities such as towels, sports equipment, etc are susceptible to have these bacteria. These bacteria can spread in other groups as well such as drug users who use needles, the military as they usually have a disregard for using facilities and usually share virtually everything, people in the sex industry and sexually active homosexuals and heterosexuals also have more chances of having these bacteria on their skin. Moreover, students sharing hostels or the same resident halls or children at daycare also have a higher probability of getting these antibiotic resistant bacteria on their skin.


In hospitals, patients can get MRSA inside open wounds as a result of surgical procedures or normal nursing if the hospital staff does not take care in cleaning their hands frequently or the surgical or nursing equipment for that matter. MRSA is also thought to be airborne in particles of dust or in dead skin flying around.


Doctors usually decolonize patients before an operation to avoid infecting them with MRSA through their wounds during the operation. They do this by cleaning the patient with special soaps that are designed to kill the MRSA bacteria and nasal creams that carry out the same purpose.


In order to avoid MRSA doctors are now more frequently giving nasal treatments and MRSA removing skin treatments to patients with simple skin infections.



MRSA FAQ

Some of most common questions about MRSA are answered here. Ask your MRSA question?

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