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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Staph Infections, MRSA and African Americans - What, Why and How?

MRSA Awareness Poster

MRSA stands for Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus. It is a staph infection that is generally acquired in the hospital or other medical facility, but it can also come from sports injuries. According to statistics, people over age 65 are four times more likely, and African Americans twice as likely to get the infection than the general population.

What are staph infections?

Staph infections appear as blisters on the skin and are caused by bacteria. There are different kinds of staph infections. What makes MRSA especially deadly is that is it caused by a strain of bacteria that is resistant to antibiotics. It can quickly spread to other organs.

Where does MRSA come from?

MRSA affects people who have been in hospitals, nursing homes, dialysis centers and other health care facilities. It comes from skin-to-skin contact. It usually occurs after surgery, intravenous tubing or other invasive procedures. But MRSA can also occur as a result of injuries from contact sports and unsanitary living conditions.

What does MRSA look like?

MRSA begins as boils which then turn to abscesses that need to be drained. When this occurs, the infection becomes painful and goes deeper, affecting bones, joints, surgical wounds, the bloodstream, heart valves and lungs.

How is MRSA treated?

The key to treating MRSA more effectively is seeking medical attention before it spreads to other parts of the body. Antibiotics must be taken in their entirety to increase the chances of curing the disease.

How can MRSA be prevented?

Washing hands frequently and using hand sanitizer is the best way to prevent any kind of staph infection. Don't share towels or other linens with others. Wash all bedding, linens and athletic clothing thoroughly in hot water.

The Centers for Disease Control encourages anyone who thinks they may have MRSA not to attempt to treat themselves. It is a very contagious disease that can spread to others and quickly spread to the bloodstream and organs if not treated immediately by a health care provider.
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