Mrsa Superbug

By: Meghan

Seeing or hearing the letters, MRSA together brings fear to most people because MRSA is known as a superbug. With movies like Pandemic, Virus, Epidemic, The Andromeda Strain, The Outbreak, Panic in the Streets, and other similar movies, people can vividly picture a worse case scenario when it comes to "superbugs". Separating fact from fiction about MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) can calm fears and prevent the spread of this infection.

Though recently MRSA has become newsworthy, its history started many years ago when antibiotics were believed to be a cure all. Patents actively requested antibiotics and doctors freely prescribed them. Staphylococcus proved to be smarter than humans and mutated to survive. A strain developed that is resistant to common antibiotic treatment and it no longer is confined to hospitals (up to 33% of the population are carriers).

MRSA Fact And Fiction:


  • Fiction-MRSA is a superbug that cannot be treated with antibiotics.


  • Fact-MRSA can be treated with antibiotics. It is the penicillin related (like methicillin) antibiotics that are ineffective on MRSA.


  • Fiction-MRSA is a superbug that will kill you.


  • Fact-MRSA can be treated in healthy adults. Early detection reduces the risk of death for everyone. Young children and anyone with a compromised immune system is at a higher risk for death from MRSA. Many people who contract MRSA are in hospitals, nursing facilities, and other places that care for people who are ill to begin with.


  • Fiction-MRSA is only found in hospitals.


  • Fact-About 33% of the population are MRSA carriers (it lives primarily in the nose). Nursing homes, gymnasiums, and businesses have MRSA on many of its surfaces that are commonly touched.



The prevention of MRSA:


  • Prevention of MRSA is as easy as washing your hands and using hand disinfectant. This should be done when touching common areas in public places, especially in hospitals. Any time someone touches their nose they should wash their hands. Parents and caregivers should also wash their hands when helping someone who cannot wipe their own nose.

  • Build a strong immune system by eating right, taking supplements, getting adequate rest, and reducing stress to prevent the superbug MRSA from causing an infection when there is unavoidable contact with the infection.

  • Keep open sores clean and when need be, covered.



Recognizing MRSA Signs And Symptoms:


  • All Staph infections, including MRSA, will begin as small red bumps that look like pimples, boils or spider bites.

  • A deep and painful abscess that requires medical intervention like surgical draining.

  • When an MRSA bacterium spreads deep into the body, it can cause infections in bones, joints, surgical wounds, the bloodstream, heart valves, and lungs. For some, this infection can be life-threatening.




Treatment of MRSA:


  • Before antibiotics are started for a skin infection, a health care professional should test it for staph bacteria (which includes MRSA), to prescribe the most effective treatment.

  • Treatment of MRSA won't always include antibiotics. To avoid outbreaks of vancomycin-resistant MRSA, vancomycin may be saved for those most at risk of the infection spreading and those most at risk for death. In healthy people, some doctors may choose to drain an abscess caused by MRSA rather than treat the infection with drugs. Some hospitals are already seeing vancomycin-resistant MRSA.



Alternative medicine and MRSA:


  • Manuka honey kills MRSA (remember, honey never should be given internally to anyone under 1 year old)

  • Colloidal silver kills MRSA

  • Tea tree oil kills MRSA



Using alternative medicine to find out other treatments that are effective should be done with the supervision of someone who is professionally trained in that area and with the supervision of a health care professional who can test the effectiveness.

Though there are parts of the population that are at higher risk for complications and even death from the superbug, MRSA, it is still a treatable and preventable infection for a high percentage of the population.

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