The symptoms for this staph infection, which is known as MRSA, can go unnoticed because they resemble other less serious illnesses and skin problems. When you are able to understand some of the signs of this infection and inform your doctor, you will get quicker diagnosis, which will give you a more successful treatment.
When this infection is diagnosed early, milder antibiotics can be used for a lesser amount of time, reduces the risk of more resistant strains of this bacterium from developing. An Additional advantage, with early diagnosis, is there will be a decreased chance of it migrating to other areas of your body like – lungs, bones, or blood.
Being familiar with early and common symptoms could allow you to prevent this staph infection from spreading or harming your body any further. This guide will help you in recognize the common and severe symptoms, using risk factors to determine if you should be concerned, understanding that these symptoms can resembling other skin problems, and learning more about other bacterial infections.
Not only does MRSA resemble other skin problems (less serious infections and non-resistant staph infections), it also has similar symptoms. When these symptoms get rapidly worse or are not responding to treatment with common antibiotics, this infection may be suspected by your doctor.
The following are common symptoms for this staph infection:
- Flu-like symptoms
- Pain at infection site
- Muscle aches
- Difficulty in breathing
- Chest pain
Severe and Less Common Symptoms
Untreated MRSA causing the infection to spread to other parts of the body, which can lead to severe and less common symptoms.
- Low blood pressure
- Breathing problems
- Light headiness
- Rapid heartbeat
- Decrease urine output
- Joint pains
- Persistent cough
- Excessive fatigue
“If you’re experiencing any of these severe symptoms for an extended amount of time, contact your doctor immediately!”
When MRSA is untreated and showing these symptoms, complications (Complications of MRSA – bacteria.emedtv.com)can include septic arthritis, abscesses deep in the body, osteomyelitis (bone infection), septicemia, blood poisoning (bacteremia), meningitis, endocarditis (inflammation of the inner lining of the heart), and pneumonia.
In The Blood (Sepsis)
Ignoring MRSA can lead to blood poisoning (bacteremia). This occurs when there is a high level of bacteria in the fluid portion of the blood. When there are symptoms in the blood it will be vital to be in contact with your doctor so he or she can do testing and monitor your condition. If it is in the blood it is a serious condition that will require immediate treatment. If you want to know the symptoms, re-read the previous section.
In The Organs
When MRSA is ignoring, it can spread to the organs like the lungs, heart, brain or other crucial areas of the body and become dangerous immediately. This is especially true for people who have a weak immune system due to illness, injury, or other health issues. The only way to be certain if this infection has spread to your organs is by getting tested by your healthcare provider. He or she will be able to determine if the symptoms are from this infection or another health issue. If you want to understand the symptoms, re-read the above section on Severe and Less Common Symptoms.
Next, you will learn about risk factors and how they relate to the symptoms.
Symptoms & Risk Factors
Being aware of the risk factors for this staph infection will help you decide if you need to be more concerned with the early, common, or severe symptoms.
The following are some of the factors that may cause you to be at risk of developing the MRSA infection:
- Direct exposure to this staph infection from accidental contact, direct contact, or from caring for someone who has this bacteria
- A compromised immune system from illness, injury, or treatment for a medical problem
- Living in close quarters in a high population environment (prisons, nursing homes, group homes, rehabilitation facilities, military barracks, daycare centers, etc.)
- Frequent or excessive treatment with antibiotics
- Working with a population that is at high risk for developing this type of staph infection
- An uncovered break in the skin (puncture, cut, abrasion, rash, etc.) when in a high risk environment
- Using shared equipment in a hospital, healthcare facility, fitness center, or other similar environment
- Surgery or invasive medical procedure
- Working with livestock that is treated routinely with antibiotics
- Colonization in nose, groin, armpits, or folds of skin
- At risk age group (infants, children, healthcare workers, and elderly)
As more people follow precautions to avoid an infection, it is expected that number of MRSA cases will stabilize and decrease, which will reduce the risk.
Resembling Other Skin Problems
Normally, MRSA infections will originate on the skin and be visually identifiable to the eye; however, they can resemble other less severe skin problems or common staph infections that are easily treatable. The early symptoms, which resemble other skin problems, are listed below:
- Bug bite
Initially the symptoms will be very difficult to distinguish between a less serious skin problem and this bacterial infection. The simplest way to distinguish between the two is that the symptoms for this infection (MRSA Symptoms – firstaid.about.com) will quickly get worse and you will continue to become unhealthier. On the other, less severe skin problems will not do this. The next part in this guide will explain other bacterial infections.
Other Bacterial Infections
Not only do other skin problems resemble MRSA as stated earlier in this guide but other bacterial infections can also be similar to this infection. It might also be other staph infections – Epidermidis, Aureus, and Saprophyticus – or bacterial infections like the following:
- Skin boils (swollen pus filled infection on skin)
- Furuncles (infected hair follicle)
- Eye styes (infected gland around eye)
- Carbuncles (larger than a boil with multiple openings)
- Impetigo (highly contagious skin infection)
- Abscesses (cavity in skin filled with pus and debris)
- Urinary Tract Infection (effects urethra, bladder, or kidneys)
- Bacteremia (bacteria into the bloodstream)
These staph and bacterial infections can develop into a MRSA infection when left untreated or proper antibiotic treatment dosing is not followed. Usually, prompt and proper treatment can often prevent that from occurring.
Sometimes, to avoid MRSA symptoms, it just takes correct wound care and covering vulnerable skin while in risky areas of an infection (hospital, gyms, day care centers, prisons, etc.). It is best to avoid an infection by building a strong immune system and following prevention guidelines.
It will not be possible to determine if an infection is severely dangerous just from the symptoms. The only way to know for sure is to have lab tests done by your doctor. When in doubt, the infection should be treated as MRSA to prevent the spread of the bacteria to others. This infection can be scary, but it can be treated.