MRSA – a “superbug” infection

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)

Penicillin antibiotics have been extensively used and certain bacterial strains have become resistant to them


  • Staphylococcus aureus is a common bacteria found on the skin and inside the nose.
  • Highly contagious and can become serious and even life threatening
  • Can be cured completely but can also be repeated.
  • Causes infections in various parts of the body
  • Spread by contact with contagious infected people including:
  • contact with contaminated wounds
  • Sharing personal items that have touched infected skin
  • Treated with certain antibiotics


When to contact a medical professional / doctor:

  • You have a skin infection that looks like MRSA
  • The skin infection is red, warm, possibly hard, draining pus
  • You have rigor / fever (abvoe 38’c)
  • You suspect a MRSA infection!
  • You have MRSA, an it is getting WORSE
  • Your MRSA infection comes back
  • You have a high fever / rigor /chills; shortness of breath; chest pain


Types of MRSA:

HA MRSA - Healthcare - associated MRSA.

  • Related to being in a health care setting eg as a nurse or healthcare worker, recent or prolonged hospitalisation, using medical items such as MRSA.
  • This type of infection is more likely to result in invasive infection.
  • High risk area for HA MRSAs:
  • Catheterisation
  • Surgical wounds
  • Dialysis
  • C-PAP
  • IVI lines
  • ET (endotracheal) tubes


CA MRSA – Community - associated MRSA.

  • This infection is related to the community where there might be close living and usually presents as a skin infection, but can still develop into a serious infection.
  • Higher risk places for CA MRSA – schols, correctional facilities
  • Military bases
  • Schools
  • Hostels
  • Home
  • Sport facilities

First signs of MRSA:

Staph infections start as painful red bumps, resemble pimples or spider bites. They can be hard and have pus and resemble blisters. MRSA mostly causes easier to treat, treated and relatively mild skin infections that are easily treated. If however the infection gets into the system then MRSA can be potentially deadly.


Staph infections have pus and other drainage in them. If left untreated the infections goes progressively deeper into the body.
The serious infections most often affect the bloodstream, and once in the blood stream has a direct line to vital organs eg heart or lungs, or in an area of recent surgery.

  • Infection of the heart - Endocarditis
  • Infection of the blood - Sepsis

MRSA seems to permanently affect the lymphatic system.


Chills, cough, chest pain, fever fatigue muscle aches rashes, shortness of breath, malaise



Bacteria can be cultured from the infected area and this can include:
• Wounds
• Sputum
• Bone biopsies
• Blood
...... depending on the type of MRSA infection

Cultures can take a few days to cultivate, and this culture is used to test for the correct antibiotic to cure the infection.
This means that you will probably be given antibiotics while the culture is being done, and then this is changed when the results come back.



  • Red hard pimple like mass boils, carbuncle,
  • Abscess
  • Cellulitis
  • Pain
  • Heat around area
  • Ulceration / necrosis
  • Pus / drainage



  • Fatigue
  • Chest pain
  • Heart murmur
  • Rigor (fever / chills)
  • Night sweats
  • Oedema (swelling in the legs, by sacrum)
  • Signs of congestive heart failure


Muscle and joint aches



  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • High fever
  • Blood in sputum


  • Osteomyelitis is infection of the bones
  • Rigor, fever, chills
  • Pain
  • Redness and swelling of tissue around bone








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medical practitioner and is meant as supporting information only.
The information is not intended for harm, to be seen as diagnosis,
or treatment but is infomrational only. Harm may result in ignoring medical
help and treatment, or in the neglecting of the medical treatment given/suggested
to you by your medical practitioner. The staff of the website intend the information
as informational  and supportive only,
and do not endorse self medication or ignoring medical advice.