Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Potentially Dangerous Staph Infections Spreading


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:

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: Space observation with radar to secure Germany's space infrastructure

Satellites in near-Earth orbit are at risk due to the steady increase in space debris. But their mission in the areas of telecommunications, navigation or weather forecasts is essential for society. Fraunhofer FHR therefore develops radar-based systems which allow the detection, tracking and cataloging of even the smallest particles of debris. Satellite operators who have access to our data are in a better position to plan evasive maneuvers and prevent destructive collisions. From April, 25-29 2018, Fraunhofer FHR and its partners will exhibit the complementary radar systems TIRA and GESTRA as well as the latest radar techniques for space observation across three stands at the ILA Berlin.

The "traffic situation" in space is very tense: the Earth is currently being orbited not only by countless satellites but also by a large volume of space...

Im Focus: Researchers Discover New Anti-Cancer Protein

An international team of researchers has discovered a new anti-cancer protein. The protein, called LHPP, prevents the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells in the liver. The researchers led by Prof. Michael N. Hall from the Biozentrum, University of Basel, report in “Nature” that LHPP can also serve as a biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of liver cancer.

The incidence of liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma, is steadily increasing. In the last twenty years, the number of cases has almost doubled...

Im Focus: Researchers at Fraunhofer monitor re-entry of Chinese space station Tiangong-1

In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.

Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...

Im Focus: Alliance „OLED Licht Forum“ – Key partner for OLED lighting solutions

Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.

They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...

Im Focus: Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

Oceans formed before Tharsis and evolved together, shaping climate history of Mars

A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

New solar solutions for sustainable buildings and cities

23.03.2018 | Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

For graphite pellets, just add elbow grease

23.03.2018 | Materials Sciences

Unique communication strategy discovered in stem cell pathway controlling plant growth

23.03.2018 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

Sharpening the X-ray view of the nanocosm

23.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>