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- Sat Apr 02, 2005 3:13 pm
I am looking for any assistance I can get. My infant son of 8 months just got diagnosed with MRSA. I have been trying to research this infection and am having a lot of trouble understanding this infection. Everything seems spoken in such a technical language that I am not understand what I need to do for my son at this point or what troubles he is going to have from this. I am becoming more scared about MRSA the more I read about it and would just like to have some idea about what this is and what this is going to cause in my son. I wasn't told much from the hospital when his results came back with this. My husband and I had taken him in because he had a boil on his rear that became quite large within a short amount of time. They drained it and then tested the infection. His medications were then switched to Bactrim and he recieved ointment for his nose and we were told he has MRSA and would have it for the rest of his life. What does this mean?? I am hearing some very disheartening things about MSRA and just want to know what i need to look for, and what it causes exactly and what kind of problems this will cause for my family. Can somebody assist me in some answers. I do understand what it is, I just don't understand how severe this can get, if he can die from it, what it will cause over his lifetime and if he is contagious all the time?? Write me back if you can help me.
| Dr. Heba Ismail
- Sun Apr 03, 2005 1:13 pm
First of all, you honestly need'nt worry so much! I'll try here to explain things for you, and if you still have questions, please don't hesitate to ask.
Staphylococcus Aureus (SA) are a group of bacteria which are very commonly found on the skin and cause infections. But there are many different types and the particular type known as MRSA (methicillin resistant Staph aureus) is causing increasing problems because, as the name suggests, it is very resistant to treatment with antibiotics. Even some of our most powerful antibiotics, such as methicillin, can't stop it in its tracks.
Around 30% of people carry the germ SA in their nose or on their skin (this is often referred to as being 'colonised' with the germ). SA and MRSA are not normally a risk to healthy people and the majority of people 'colonised' with SA do not have any symptoms and aren’t aware they are carrying the germ. If colonised, one becomes 'infected' with SA if the bacteria get into the body through a break in the skin.
In case of 'colonisation', a special antibiotic called mupirocin is usually applied to the skin or the inside of the nose to remove the bacteria. Skin and hair may be washed with special disinfectants.
As for specific treatment of 'infection', antibiotics aren’t completely powerless against MRSA. The 'infection' may simply require a much higher dose over a much longer period, or the use of an alternative antibiotic to which the germ has less resistance.
The long-term risk of SA is the chance that it may become resistant to all antibiotic drugs. For this reason it is important that antibiotics are only used when necessary and the full course of a drug is taken when it has been prescribed.
It is also very important to take basic hygiene precautions. This includes covering cuts and broken skin with waterproof plasters and washing hands frequently and thoroughly.