Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Potentially Dangerous Staph Infections Spreading

04.08.2004


Staph bacteria are not uncommon in health care settings. In fact, they account for a large number of hospital-related infections each year. Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is one of these types of bacteria which is now found among athletes, military recruits and others in the general population. What is particularly concerning to medical experts is that MRSA is resistant to many common antibiotics.

An MRSA infection causes skin and soft tissue lesions and, when left untreated, can invade deeper structures such as bone and muscle, or even the blood stream – and can be quite serious.

Suzanne Bradley, M.D., an infectious disease specialist at the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System and University of Michigan Health System, advises the public on what to look for in an MRSA infection, and when a rash may be more than a rash.



“There are many different kinds of staph infections, and even MRSA encompasses a wide number of bacteria. Some are resistant to many antibiotics while others are resistant to only a few,” Bradley says. “Fortunately, the MRSA bacteria acquired in the community is only resistant to a few, including penicillins and cephalosporins.”

Bradley notes that hospitals have been dealing with MRSA at least since the 1980s, but it wasn’t until the mid-1990s that doctors began diagnosing serious MRSA infections in people that never had any contact with a health care system, including healthy children, athletes and military recruits.

“We’ve seen outbreaks in athletes, collegiate athletes and professional football players. Since staph is acquired primarily by direct human contact, anyone with a break in their skin who has a lot of contact with others is potentially at risk,” says Bradley.

She says this is not a subtle infection. Staph infections begin abruptly. Someone with MRSA may develop a large area of redness on the skin, swelling and pain. A pustule or abscess might develop, or boils and carbuncles (red, lumpy sores filled with pus). Some patients have pneumonia-like symptoms or, less frequently, symptoms of toxic shock.

Generally, when a doctor in the office or hospital sees someone with these symptoms, they will likely know that Staph aureus is causing the infection. The doctor will typically prescribe one of the more common antibiotics which, unfortunately, have no effect on MRSA.

“So, in the typical scenario, we’ve lost time in potentially getting an effective antibiotic to treat the MRSA patient,” says Bradley.

If left untreated or not treated aggressively, MRSA can progress to a deeper infection, involvement of the bloodstream, and to the spread of infection to other organs. A patient who is not responding to antibiotics will actually be getting worse after two or three days, experiencing more pain with spreading inflammation.

Bradley warns that anyone in this situation should call the doctor.

“You may need another antibiotic, you may need surgical drainage of an abscess or resection of the tissue. But it’s important to get in touch with your doctor,” she says.

The good news is that there are more antibiotic choices for MRSA. Vancomycin, clindamycin and sulfa drugs are available and effective in treating most of these infections.

Anyone with a break in their skin can be infected, so what’s the best way to prevent MRSA?

  • Cover the skin break, cut or wound with a bandage so the staph bacteria can’t get in.
  • If you have an open wound, wash it daily with soap and water.
  • If you are engaged in contact sports or other close contact with people in a way that might introduce infection to the wound, make sure you shower and wash those areas that have been in contact with others.
  • Don’t share towels, razors or other implements that might transmit the bacteria to your skin.
  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Avoid others with a known staph infection, and tell others if you have one.
  • Wash and dry all clothing, towels and bed linens in hot water if they come in contact with staph bacteria.

| newswise
Further information:
http://www.umich.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Biofilm discovery suggests new way to prevent dangerous infections
23.05.2017 | University of Texas at Austin

nachricht Another reason to exercise: Burning bone fat -- a key to better bone health
19.05.2017 | University of North Carolina Health Care

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

Im Focus: Using graphene to create quantum bits

In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.

In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Physicists discover mechanism behind granular capillary effect

24.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Measured for the first time: Direction of light waves changed by quantum effect

24.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>