You have probably heard the letters before. Maybe you even know what they stand for. Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus. A bacterial infection that is highly resistant to some antibiotics. And CA-MRSA is known as the community associated form of the infection. This information is not meant to scare you, simply to inform you. I believe that knowledge is power. So here are some of the facts that I read on-line and could prove helpful to you too.
MRSA can be present in most of any daily activities. MRSA can be spread through the air you breathe. Studies have shown that it can be acquired by medical employees and patients by airborne transmissions in hospitals. You might be infected at your own work site, a local swimming pool, a senior/nursing facility, or even within your own home. The infection has been identified as being the fastest growing in places that share close quarters or experience more skin-to-skin contact. These contacts also included areas of team sports/athletes, military recruits, and prison inmates. The cases of MRSA have been growing fast since 1999. It is also shown that it is more prevalent in some geographic areas, so knowing MRSA is beneficial to you, or maybe for someone you know.
MRSA could already be in your body. You could be a carrier and not even know it. What is a MRSA carrier? MRSA carriers have living MRSA bacteria on or inside their bodies. Roughly 30% of people carry Staph bacteria (and a smaller percent carry MRSA) on their skin and/or in their upper respiratory tract (inside the nose area). They may never get infected and often have no idea they carry it. A MRSA carrier can spread or transmit the bacteria to others. It’s possible for a MRSA carrier to spread MRSA to someone else who then becomes infected. There are many factors that can come into play. Some of these factors include your age, medical conditions, stress, amount of exposure, route of exposure, a history of Staph, MRSA or other infections, certain medications, certain foods, and the strength of your immune system. Just because you’re a MRSA carrier does not mean you will ever get an infection. Just because you are exposed to or touch a carrier doesn’t mean you will get infected or become a carrier yourself. How do you become a MRSA carrier? You can easily pick up MRSA bacteria by being close to infected people as like mentioned in previous paragraph. Infection can start when the bacteria enter into your body through your lungs, nose, mouth, open cuts, wounds and surgical sites. MRSA bacteria can be picked up on your hands by coming into contact with the bacteria. They can also be found in some body fluids (if that person is a carrier or infected), on clothing and laundry (from people who are a carrier or infected), on household surfaces (if someone in your home is a carrier or infected) and from direct contact with an infected person or a carrier. MRSA and Staph can also be transmitted to pets from humans (and back to humans from pets).
Now that we know what and how, let’s learn a bit about the symptoms of it. Some people find out the accidentally that they have MRSA. A person might go to the doctors for a bad spider bite or a boil / pimple that just won’t go away. It becomes a painful abscess. Some people might have just had a minor procedure done at the clinic or hospital, and a week later are experiencing a terrible infection at the procedure site. Here are some of the symptoms as listed in MRSA articles….red, swollen, painful skin infections. Other symptoms might include, with time….skin abscesses, drainage of pus or fluids, warmth and pain around the infected area and even a fever. Care must be taken as fast as possible to drain the abscess in order to keep the staph from moving from the skin into the body’s muscle and bone, where it can create potentially life threatening infections of the internal organs. Antibiotics will more than likely be administered. Clyndamyacin and Vancomyacin are common MRSA antibiotics used.
Careful attention to personal hygiene is key to avoiding MRSA. Also these few simple-basic preventions…..wash your hands frequently with soap, especially after visiting a hospital, or long term care facility. Use hand sanitizer when you do not have access to a sink and soap. Make sure all medical personnel wash their hands before examining you. Don’t share personal items such as towels and razors (MRSA can be transmitted through contaminated items). Be on guard ( no pun intended where bjj is) at the gym….wear workout gear that covers your skin(and protects others from coming in contact to your skin), if possible, bring your own workout mats(yoga). Cover ALL wounds with a clean bandage, and avoid contact with other people’s soiled bandages. If you share sporting equipment, clean it first with an antiseptic solution. Avoid common whirlpools or saunas if you or another participant has an open sore. Keep your skin in good health (cracked, dry skin are perfect spots for infections). Lastly, make sure that shared bathing facilities are clean. Protect others from getting it or from spreading further.
If you believe you have a MRSA infection do get yourself into a medical facility and have it checked out. MRSA can worsen quickly, and can be hard to deal with for many people. It is better to be safe than sorry. And believe me, less painful too.
MRSA is known for its ability to return repeatedly. It is my belief, that a regimen of proper sleep, diet and exercise are important to help our bodies “naturally” fight infections or even cycles of re-infections. Trying to be stress free is another part of the ability to fight infections. One might try | 30 Days Free Trial | Seaside Jiu Jitsu Academy . Remember, a lil protection goes a long way. For more complete information about MRSA, see the Centers for Disease Control web site – www.cdc.gov/mrsa/ .