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MRSA Infection - Summary
MRSA is a type of infection caused by a bacteria that can cause mild skin infections and boils as well as more severe infections such as pneumonia. People who need treatment for an MRSA infection, often through specific antibiotics for MRSA, can use Push Health to connect with a medical provider who can prescribe MRSA medication when appropriate to do so.
What Is MRSA?
MRSA stands for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Said another way, MRSA is a type of bacteria that is resistant to treatment from a variety of common antibiotics. MRSA is of particular concern because of the resistance that MRSA bacteria demonstrate to traditional medications, resulting in the need for stronger medications to treat an MRSA infection. MRSA is widespread in the population and has become of increasing concern in recent years.
Symptoms of MRSA
MRSA symptoms can range widely, depending on the type of infection and the health characteristics of the person infected. In some healthy people, MRSA infections are asymptomatic, meaning that there is no evidence of an infection at all. In cases of mild MRSA infections, one might experience redness or pain - particularly when the MRSA infection is on the skin. Some MRSA infections will present with an abscess that is hot to touch and has a lesion full of pus. In these situations, MRSA infections can be mistaken for spider bites, especially when they have small dark marks inside the abscess. In some cases, MRSA infections can be significant, requiring hospitalization and advanced interventions, including surgery. Many people who end up with severe MRSA infections have other underlying medical problems like diabetes or a weak immune system or are in an age group that is more susceptible to diseases (e.g. young or elderly).
Is MRSA Contagious?
Is MRSA contagious? For most people, the answer is yes. MRSA infections spread when one contacts the skin or surface of an object contaminated with MRSA. Theoretically, MRSA will enter the body through small breaks in the skin such as an abrasion but that is not always the case. Environments in which a MRSA exposure has a higher likelihood of occurring include daycare facilities, gyms, college dormitories and military barracks. Additionally, people in hospital settings (both patients and providers) are typically at a higher risk for MRSA.
MRSA - Treatment
Some cases of MRSA will not lead to any symptoms and will go away on their own. Other cases of MRSA will require strong antibiotics, minor or major surgery, or both in order to treat the MRSA infection. Medications that are used in treating an MRSA infection include the following:
Anyone suspecting an MRSA infection should consult a medical provider as medication treatment is frequently needed in the setting of an MRSA exposure and illness. MRSA prescription medication treatment also needs to take into account local resistance patterns.
Because MRSA is considered contagious, special precautions should be taken to reduce the likelihood of getting an MRSA infection. Specifically, reducing skin contact with equipment and other goods in public areas may help reduce the risk of an MRSA exposure. Additionally, washing one's hands after using common equipment at places like the gym can help wash off any MRSA bacteria that did contact one's skin. In general, pursuing healthy eating and exercise habits may also increase the potency of the immune system and reduce possible MRSA risk.
MRSA Treatment Online
Although many MRSA infections will resolve without therapy, prescription medications are sometimes needed for MRSA treatment. Telemedicine services like Push Health can help people with mild MRSA infections by connecting people with MRSA symptoms to local area providers online and enabling virtual consultations and, when appropriate, MRSA medication prescriptions that can be fulfilled at local pharmacies.
More MRSA Information
Last updated May 10, 2021. Given the evolving nature of medicine and science, this information might not be accurate and should not be construed as medical advice or diagnosis / treatment recommendations. Please consult a licensed medical provider if you have additional questions.