Treatment may begin with the general physician who may direct the patient to a specialist in communicable disease
2. Where is MRSA usually found?
MRSA is usually found on the skin, in the nose, and in blood and urine.
3. What type of antibiotics is Methicillin?
Methicillin is a Beta-lactam type of antibiotics and belongs to the same group of antibiotics as penicillin. Beta-lactam antibiotics are commonly prescribed and act by inhibiting the growth of certain types of bacteria by acting on their cell membrane and hence prevent its duplication. They are grouped together depending on their properties and the beta-lactam ring. Other Beta-lactam antibiotics include:
4. How can I prevent staph or MRSA skin infections?
You should practice good hygiene by following these routines in your everyday life-
a. Hand washing – is the most important of all measure. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water or by using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
b. Clean and cover the cuts and scrapes with a bandage until healed.
c. Avoid touching other people’s wounds or bandages.
d. Avoid sharing your personal items such as towels or razors with others. Use fresh paper napkins in public places.
5. If I am suffering from a staph, or MRSA skin infection, what precautions should I take to prevent others from getting infected?
Prevention of spread of staph or MRSA is the key in also treating MRSA. General universal precautions as laid out above should be followed. These include-
a. Covering your infected wound with bandages till they are healed. Bandages and tape can be discarded with the regular trash or burnt away.
b. Cleaning hands- Normally use soap and water to clean your hands thoroughly. However if touching or changing the bandages it is better to use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
c. Do not share your personal items – Potentially infected items include towels, washcloths, razors, clothing, sheets and pillow cases. Wash these items regularly with a detergent and use a dryer to dry clothes completely.
d. Consult your doctor if you have or had a staph or MRSA skin infection.
6. If I am visiting a person who is known to have MRSA – what should I do?
Normally in hospitals such people are in an isolation area and visitors are not encouraged. In community if you make a visit you should follow the prevention steps as described above. If you are worried you could also use a mask.
7. What type of people are more prone to MRSA?
As a general rule a healthy person rarely gets a MRSA infection. MRSA generally infects people whose immunity maybe compromised. These include patients who are elderly, those who are sick, patients with indwelling urinary catheters or if they have a bedsore.
8. What happens to patients in hospitals who gets MRSA – are they isolated?
MRSA- infected patients are generally isolated in a room to prevent it spreading to other patients but procedures may vary from one hospital to another. Isolation of a patient involves the following-
a. The patient is housed in a separate room, or in a ward with one or more patients who also have MRSA.
b. Movement of patient is restricted to include only essentials like medical procedures or emergencies.
c. Nurses or health care professionals looking after such patients will usually put on gloves and gowns before entering the room and remove their gloves and gowns before leaving the room, and then immediately after wash their hands.
d. Visitors also follow the same procedure of wearing gloves and gown and washing their hands afterwards.
9. How long is it required to get rid of the MRSA bug?
As this is a difficult bug ot treat this may take a few days, few weeks or even longer. Generally if the patient is stable they maybe discharged back and home care is advised with all the precautions and a community nurse looking after the dressings.
10. Can my pet Cat or dog get MRSA?
Yes MRSA bacteria can spread to your pets (cat or dog) where it can colonizes in the animal's nose. The pets can spread the bacteria to other contacts or back to the owner through contact.
If you suspect such an infection get the Vet to take a swab of the nose of the pet and get them treated.