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What is Community Associated MRSA?

Flu Information
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Community associated MRSA is a form of bacterial infection. Staphylococcus aureus is a commonly occurring bacteria that is present in about thirty percent of the population of the world, usually residing in the nasal area or on the skin. For many years, an antibacterial called methicillin was used to kill staph bacteria, and as a result of this widespread use, some staph bacteria has evolved to become resistant to methicillin, forming MRSA – methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus. Most MRSA is seen in hospital environments that are regularly disinfected, but there is a new type of MRSA that has arisen, known as community associated MRSA.

What is Community Associated MRSA?

Community associated MRSA develops in areas where human beings are forced into close contact with each other. These places can include college campuses, prisons, military barracks, day care centers, and other areas. The MRSA spreads either by direct skin to skin contact with infected individuals, or through the sharing of common items such as towels, seats, and other items that can serve as a breeding ground for the bacteria to thrive. Community associated MRSA is typically not as serious as hospital associated MRSA, which can become very deadly due to the fact that it has developed into a more methicillin resistant version and is developed in people with compromised immune systems.

Community associated MRSA is typically treatable by oral antibiotics and other less invasive means. It generally tends to develop as a small bump or red mark on the skin, typically after the skin has been punctured such as through a cut or scrape that is left untreated. When the MRSA is developing, it will produce a boil or other skin lesion that may build up pus or other infected fluid underneath the skin. The bacterial infection can be effectively stopped with good personal hygiene practices, such as washing hands thoroughly and not sharing personal items with other people at work or at home.

Community associated MRSA does not necessarily require antibiotic treatment, and in some cases doctors will recommend against this, especially if they feel that the antibiotic treatment may lead to the bacteria becoming even more virulent and antibiotic resistant. If antibiotic treatment is prescribed for community associated MRSA, it is important to continue the treatment for the full duration without missing any doses, or you run the risk of causing problems as the bacteria are not killed by the antibiotic, but merely strengthened in their resistance to it. If you believe that you have community associated MRSA, you should contact a doctor as soon as possible.

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