Is MRSA Contagious? What You Should Know

Yes, MRSA is contagious. MRSA is a contagious staph infection that can spread from person to person through skin-to-skin contact or indirectly. MRSA stands for Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, a contagious staph infection that can be spread from person to person  One characteristic that makes MRSA a threat is its resistance to many antibiotics. This resistance to common antibiotics, including methicillin, is where Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus gets its name.

How Contagious is MRSA?

Is MRSA contagious? Because MRSA is spread through direct or indirect contact, it is possible to get MRSA by touching the skin of someone who is infected, or by touching surfaces or objects that have the bacteria on them. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), over 80,000 invasive MRSA infections occur every year, most commonly in people with weakened immune systems.

mrsa contagious aftermath germs bacteria

There are two types of MRSA infections:

  • Health care-associated MRSA (HA-MRSA). The most common type of MRSA, health care-associated MRSA occurs in individuals who have recently stayed in health care facilities, including hospitals and nursing homes. According to the Mayo Clinic, most HA-MRSA infections are associated with surgeries or other invasive procedures.
  • Community-associated MRSA (CA-MRSA). This type of MRSA can occur among healthy people, most commonly in child care workers and people who live in crowded quarters (such as college dormitories or prisons).

Symptoms of CA-MRSA and HA-MRSA

According to Healthline, the symptoms for the different strains of MRSA may vary.

The typical symptom for CA-MRSA are skin infections. "Areas that have increased body hair, such as the armpits or back of the neck, are more likely to be infected. Areas that have been cut, scratched, or rubbed are also vulnerable to infection because your biggest barrier to germs, your skin, has been damaged.

The infection usually causes a swollen, painful bump to form on the skin. The bump may resemble a spider bite or pimple. It often has a yellow or white center and a central head. This may often be surrounded by an area of redness and warmth, known as cellulitis. Pus and other fluids may drain from the affected area. Some people also experience a fever."

For HA-MRSA, however, the symptoms can cause serious complications (for example, pneumonia, UTI (urinary tract infections), and sepsis. Contact your doctor immediately if you notice one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Rash(es)
  • Headache
  • Muscle ache(s)
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pains

Importance of Cleaning, Sanitizing and Disinfecting

Because MRSA is contagious, it is important to disinfect the home immediately after someone in your family is diagnosed. However, to thoroughly rid the site of MRSA-causing bacteria, a simple mop-and-bucket approach may not be enough.

Consider this: bacteria is microscopic, so even after cleaning, you cannot verify that all bacteria and viruses have been killed. In addition, contagious infections such as MRSA often require specialized equipment, disinfectants with infection-specific kill agents, and training. So, what should you do?

Disinfect Contagions the Aftermath Way

Hiring a bioremediation company can help ensure your home, business, or property is completely disinfected and safe to inhabit. Aftermath uses similar bloodborne pathogen cleaning techniques that health care facilities use to eradicate disease, and then tests all affected surfaces using ATP testing to detect whether or not any living organisms have survived the disinfecting process.

Whether you are concerned with cleaning after a contagious MRSA outbreak, a violent crime, accident, or an unattended death, Aftermath will ensure that your property is completely disinfected by a team of highly trained professionals. If you still have questions, refer to this list of frequently asked questions, and contact us today.

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Sources:

WebMD: http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/understanding-mrsa
Mayo Clinic: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/mrsa/basics/definition/con-20024479
CNN: http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/28/us/mrsa-fast-facts/
Healthline: http://www.healthline.com/health/mrsa#Symptoms3

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