Generally, certain types of staph bacteria reside within our bodies. As a matter of fact, many people -and one-third of people around the world- with excellent health conditions live with staph bacteria -without even knowing it! This is because the bacteria live in the nose. However, this bacteria can pose significant health challenges once granted access into your bloodstream. When this happens, you can treat the bacterial infection with antibiotics. However, certain strains of bacterial infection have become particularly resistant to antibiotics. One such notorious infection is MRSA, or more popularly, “the superbug.”
Known as “Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus,” MRSA is a distinct type of staph bacteria that breeds infection across different parts of the body. Due to its heavy resistance to regular antibiotics, MRSA is difficult to treat. There are various types of MRSA, such as healthcare-associated MRSA (HA-MRSA) and community-related MRSA (CA-MRSA). HA-MRSA is known to affect people that have weak immune systems and have been in hospital settings. You can get them through invasive tools and procedures, such as surgeries, intravenous tubing, etc. It also spreads when healthcare workers come into contact with people with unclean hands or people touching unclean surfaces.
On the other hand, CA-MRSA is a variety of MRSA infections commonly spread within a community and often begins with a painful skin boil and spreads to other people by skin contact. Other symptoms include sores or even abscesses. Those at risk of contracting this infection include those that live in clustered environments, such as team athletes, military recruits, and even prison inmates. Although this infection is not life-threatening, it has become a source of worry for many medical experts, who aptly termed it “the superbug.” According to the CDC, efforts have been made by the 2013 National Action Plan to reduce bloodstream infections, resulting in a 50% reduction of MRSA as of 2020.
There are many risk factors for HA-MRSA. These include:
- Being Hospitalised: As mentioned earlier, this infection attacks those with the weakest immune systems and resides in such areas as hospitals.
- Invasive medical tools: These devices, such as urinary catheters, can become a pathway to HA-MRSA.
- Long-term stay in healthcare facilities: This bacterial infection is ubiquitous in nursing homes and care facilities.
CA-MRSA also has many risk factors, which include:
- Those participating in sports are at risk of contracting this infection through scrapes and skin-to-skin contact.
- You can also get CA-MRSA by people living in crowded and unsanitary conditions.
- Further, CA-MRSA can be passed when a man has sex with another man.
- Finally, people living with HIV are at a higher risk of contracting this bacterial infection.
How to Prevent HA-MRSA
You can prevent HA-MRSA by isolating the people that are already infected. There must also be strict adherence to hygiene rules by healthcare workers, and this means that healthcare workers must always wash their hands with soap or use hand sanitizers after each clinical task. Finally, surfaces within such care facilities must be sterilized and cleaned regularly.
How to Prevent CA-MRSA
To prevent CA-MRSA, you must always wash your hands. Furthermore, you must ensure that your wounds are diligently covered. You also need to ensure that you do not share personal items such as sheets, razors, or athletic equipment. Finally, always ensure that you sanitize your linens.