What is MRSA?


MRSA: What is MRSA?

by Katelyn Mueller, ATC


Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus also known as MRSA, is caused by staphylococcus aureus bacteria (staph). Staph can be found in 1/3 of the population whether it be in the nose or on the skin. Just because one has “staph” on the skin or in the nose does not mean that they are sick. Staph can be colonized or dormant, but can still be passed on to other people. Normally staph infections can be harmless unless it enters the body through a cut or other open wound. An ordinary staph infection can lead to the more serious infection of MRSA. MRSA used to be only seen in hospital settings or long term care facilities; however, recently it has been found more often in the community, such as schools and in the workplace.

MRSA Signs and Symptoms
• Red bumps that resemble a pimple, spider bite or boil
• Pain
• Hot to touch
• Swelling
• Pus or other drainage

MRSA Risk Factors
• Young age
• Contact sports
• Sharing towels or athletic equipment
• Weakened immune system
• Living in crowded or unsanitary conditions
• Association with health care workers
• Overuse or abuse of antibiotics can make it harder to treat

MRSA Diagnosis
• See a Medical Doctor
• Culture will be done

MRSA Treatment
• Antibiotics
• Drain the abscess or infected area
• Have the infected area surgically cut out

MRSA Prevention
• Wash hands frequently
• Avoid sharing personal items
• Wash infected linen and clothes with hot water and soap
• Proper wound care: keep it clean, dry, and covered
• Clean equipment properly

Katelyn Mueller, ATC on MRSA Katelyn Mueller, M.Ed., ATC, is a graduate of the Hughston Athletic Training Fellowship and completed her Masters of Education in Health and Physical Education, with teacher certification from Columbus State University in May of 2008.  Katie is employed with the Harris County School District and teaches health at Harris County Carver Middle School, Hamilton, Georgia.  She continues to serve as the Head Athletic Trainer at Harris County High School, her school assignment as a member of the Fellowship Program.
She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Athletic Training and Spanish, with a minor in Strength and Conditioning, from the University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh in 2006. Katelyn is a current member of the National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA), the Great Lakes Athletic Trainers Association (GLATA), the Wisconsin Athletic Trainers Association (WATA), and is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS).
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