MRSA: Causes, Symptoms & Treatments

Author By: Jolene Sim, Health Team Contributor on 09 Jul, 2018

MRSA stands for methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus, a type of bacteria that has become resistant to several types of antibiotics which are being used to treat ordinary staph infections. It also means that it is tougher to treat compared to other strains of staphylococcus.

MRSA most commonly causes skin infections and can sometimes cause pneumonia and other issues. However, the symptoms largely depend on which part of the body is affected. Untreated, MRSA can become severe leading to sepsis. MRSA infections are usually seen in individuals who were previously or currently in hospitals or other health care facilities such as dialysis centers or nursing homes. Many professionals are alarmed by the spread of MRSA as due to its resistance to many types of medication, it is becoming known as a “super bug”.

MRSA Cause #1: Resistance

MRSA has resulted from many decades of antibiotic use. Previously, antibiotics were prescribed for all diseases, even diseases such as colds and influenza that do not respond to these drugs. Even now when antibiotics are being used for bacterial infections, they still contribute to resistance as antibiotics do not typically destroy all the germs.

Since bacteria are able to evolve rapidly, the bacteria that survives the antibiotic treatment will learn how to survive and resist that particular antibiotic. This is how resistance develops.

MRSA


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