MRSA: Diagnosis and Treatment

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Summer Dunshee
Microbiology 205
Extra Credit Paper

I am choosing to do a paper on MRSA because my mother in law got it suddenly after a routine hospital visit. It was such a devastating and sudden disease process that I was fascinated to learn more about it. MRSA stands for Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. It is caused by a strain of staph bacteria that has become resistant to the antibiotics commonly used to treat typical staph infections. There are many different varieties of Staphylococcus aureus bacteria, called “staph.” Staph bacteria are normally found on the skin or in the nose of about one-third of the population. The bacteria are generally harmless unless they enter the body through a cut or other wound, and even then they usually only cause minor skin problems in healthy people. Only about 1 % of the population carries the type of Staph bacteria known as MRSA. Most MRSA infections occur as nosocomial infections, in health care settings, especially hospitals. When it occurs in these settings it is referred to as HA-MRSA, for health care-associated MRSA. HA-MRSA infections typically are associated with invasive procedures or devices, such as surgeries, intravenous tubing or artificial joints. Another type of MRSA infection can be found in healthy people, in the wider community. This form is called CA-MRSA, for community-associated MRSA. MRSA can begin as many forms: skin boil (pus-filled infections of hair follicles), cellulitis, bumps in the skin, abscesses, sty (in the eye), carbuncles (infections larger than an abscess, usually with several openings to the skin), impetigo (a skin infection with pus-filled blisters), and rash. These are the early signs, symptoms, and stages of MRSA infection. One major problem with MRSA is that occasionally the skin infection can spread to almost any other organ in the body. When this happens, more severe symptoms develop. MRSA that spreads to internal organs...
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