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What are Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infections ?

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Practicing since : 1996
Answered : 988 Questions
Hello. I've never used this type of forum before. I am a registered nurse, working as a travel nurse and staying with a nurse friend of mine in XXXXXXX Today she went to an urgent clinic because she has been battling a swollen, very sore left labia majora. She says she has had this problem off and on for a few years but that it is becoming more frequent and more painful. The last outbreak was 4 weeks ago and now this one has sent her over the edge. The MD at the clinic did not culture it or XXXXXXX it but stated that it is more likely MRSA. Since I am staying with her and will be here for another 12 weeks, what can I do to keep from catching the infection from her? I bought Clorox wipes today and am freaking out about even sharing the same washing machine.
Fri, 20 Apr 2012 in Infections
Follow-up: What are Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infections ? 8 minutes later
A few weeks ago she told me she's had a problems with her nares being crusty and breaking out and not healing. We discussed the possibilty of it being MRSA then. She comes home from work at night and walks around the house in her scrubs and wears her nurse's shoes in the house. I removes my shoes in the entryway, and immediately go to the shower. Could she have gotten from not being as conscientious as me and am in danger of catching it because of her practice or because I am sharing living quarters with her? I have my own bathroom off my bedroom, as does she but there is a halfbath downstairs we both use. Should I avoid using that bathroom? Will bactroban help in she uses it in her nose (that finally did clear up) and should I use it to prevent an outbreak? I'm used to having patients with MRSA, but this is hitting way to close to home.
Answered by Dr. Bharat Chawda 5 hours later
Hi!Kelly ,

Thank you for the query,
XXXXXXX MRSA infections can be contagious and one has to be careful while handling common items .These staphylococcal infections are resistant to penicillin group of medicines so one needs to get a sensitivity testing for bacteria and then go for proper medications.Linezolid,vancomycin,minocyclin are few drugs which are effective against MRSA.Hospital based MRSA are more resistant .
One should take all the basic precautions like cleaning hand and avoid sharing any towels or clothes.One should use hand sanitizers as well. Also one should not wash clothes at the same time in washing machine.Try to use it separately. Sharing common bathroom should be avoided.Washing all the common items you and she is coming in contact with.Use of face mask is also important.
Carriers of MRSA infection should apply mupirocin cream/ointment over perinasal area ,peri anal area, & finger tips to prevent further spread of infection to self and to others.You can do the same for prevention. These are the places where there is maximum colonization of bacteria.

One last thing I would like to comment is on the diagnosis of the problem.Since your friend is having a recurrent attacks of this which is painful and on one side of the labia majora,one should also rule out herpes infection here.Herpes genitalis is a viral infection which is painful and recurrent with very small blisters or vesicles. So kindly rule out that too in your friend.She can go for Tzanc smear from the lesion to rule that out.Also get a grams staining and culture done.

‘Hope I have answered your query, I will be available to answer your follow up queries’.

Dr.Bharat Chawda

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