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July 21, 2011 at 1:46 PMComments: 10 Faves: 0

MRSA, that flesh-eating bacteria

By Bri Luginbill More Blogs by This Author

Ick, MRSA

MRSA. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus. That’s a mouthful. I had never heard of MRSA until my husband told me about the time he had this flesh-eating bacteria.  He was a full-time student with a full-time job. Then MRSA found him and he had to quit his job and drop down to 9 credits because he had such a severe case. He told me during that time, he could barely get out of bed. All I thought of at the time is “I hope he never gets that again!”

What is MRSA

But what really is MRSA besides bacteria that attacks your skin and flesh? How do you contract it? Where does it come from? Why does it happen?

No one really knows exactly where MRSA came from. Most of the information I found about its origin was pretty ridiculous. Some people think it came from the UK. Others believe it came from the government. The fact is we don’t know how MRSA came about. We just know what it is: a bacteria.

MRSA can be spread fairly easily. According to the Center for Disease Control, MRSA is usually spread by coming in contact with someone’s skin infection whether it be direct skin-to-skin contact or an item they may have touched. MRSA especially likes open wounds or cuts, so covering those with bandages are key to avoiding infection.

Signs and Symptoms of MRSA include a bump or infected part of the skin that may be:

  • Red
  • Swollen
  • Painful
  • Warm to the touch
  • Full of pus or other drainage
  • Accompanied by a fever

Treatment and Disinfecting the Area

A common treatment for MRSA is having a healthcare professional drain the infection. The CDC believes people should not try to do it themselves because it can worsen and/or spread to others easily.

Disinfecting anything that came in contact with the infection is key in preventing the disease from happening again or spreading it to others. People should use disinfectants that have the stamp of approval from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to clean surfaces. These kinds of cleaning tools will read “EPA” somewhere on their label. Detergents are perfect for cleaning clothes and bedding.

Overall, MRSA is a terrible infectious bacteria that no one should have to deal with. The best prevention of MRSA is to have good hygiene and a clean environment. So, go wash those hands!

Sources:
http://www.cdc.gov/mrsa

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10 Comments

  • The year after I graduated high school, there was a MRSA outbreak at my school. I mostly remembered it because there were some kids there who had the last name Mirza, so some people (in good fun) started a Facebook group called "(so-and-so) Mirza's name sounds like a staph infection." So that's really the only experience I've had with MRSA, haha, However, I had no idea what caused it or what kind of symptoms it had. Thanks for letting us know! It sounds awful...I'm glad your husband recovered well :) How long did recovery take?

  • That sounds like a thing teenagers would do if a classmate of theirs had a name that sounded like MRSA. oh high school.

    I didn't know my husband well at the time he had it (we hadn't met yet. probably a good thing we met later!) so I'm not 100% sure, but I think it took him 6 months or more. He lost a lot of weight and muscle too because he just couldn't do anything. When he told me all this, I just felt so bad for him. I'm glad he was able to get over the infection though!

  • It was all in good fun, haha. The Mirzas were really well-liked, at least...otherwise, that would have been miserable!

    Whoa! I had no idea it could last so long...wow, that's rough. I'm glad he's okay! Is that length of time pretty standard?

  • That's good they were well liked! :)

    I'm not sure if that's a standard amount of time to have it or not. I think it's more on the long end. But I know my friend's mom still has MRSA now and she's had it for about 2 months so far.

  • Wow, that seems so long. How is she doing?

  • She's doing okay. She is very mobile unlike my husband was. So that's really good! Hopefully she keeps getting better and the MRSA will be gone soon.

  • I had a case of MRSA that came on as a massive 2" abcess in my left armpit. Pretty painful and scary. Tried squeezing it myself, and actually caused it to rupture sideways under the skin. Eek! Had it lanced and packed and got on antibiotics. Went away after a few weeks, only to have the same thing happen in my right armpit. Now I was getting freaked out that I was "colonized" or a carrier of this nastiness. That was two years ago, and it has NOT come back, praise God! Only ongoing changes in my life is that I wash my arnpits every few days with HIBICLENS antimicrobial wash and I avoid picking, scratching etc in warm wet areas of my body. I wanted to post this since I see very few success stories. Everyone seems to post the horror stories and paint a pretty bleak picture. My life has returned to normal, although I am definitely more aware that these things can come out of seemingly nowhere. It keeps me focused on the Lord Jesus and Eternity, not this short life we live down here. And for that I am thankful. Anything, even MRSA or worse that draws/propels me closer to my Lord is a blessing, no matter the disguise it wears! Keep praying people, God loves you and wants you to have fellowship with Him. C.S. Lewis was quoted as saying something like "Pain is God's megaphone to a deaf world!"

  • Mark, thank you so much for sharing! You're right - we don't often hear the success stories. I'm glad to hear that you're doing well, and I hope you continue to remain MRSA-free :)

  • I agree with Laura, thanks for sharing Mark. I am so happy that after all you went through, you are MRSA free! My husband is also MRSA free. He had it once before I even met him. (I think that was 4 years ago) and he hasn't had a case of it since. Your story is inspirational!

  • Very insightful information about MRSA, because I have not had it or known anyone with MRSA. I also like your quote Mark from C.S. Lewis, good stuff.

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