Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus
Emerging infectious diseases are communicable diseases whose prevalence have increased in the past few years and threaten to increase even further in the near future. This group of diseases accounts for about 12% of all human disease causing organisms (Taylor, 2001). EIDs include infections which are caused by a recently identified strain of a known microorganism or new infections that result from change or fruition of an existing organism. There are several EIDs affecting human beings and have different causes. Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) is an example of an EID which has proved to be problematic in the recent past. MRSA is a bacterium accountable for several problematic contagions in humans. The MRSA is any strain of the Staphylococcus Aureus that has established resistance to beta-lactam antibiotics (Fauci, 2005). The resistance therefore makes it very hard to treat the disease with the standard antibiotics hence more hazardous. MRSA is very problematic in hospitals and other institutions playing host to a number of patients. Patients who have open lacerations and deteriorated immune systems are at larger risk of contagions than the general public.
Hospital Acquired MRSA (HA-MRSA) is a potentially deadly strain of the Staphylococcus aureus and is resistant to various antibiotics. This problem has been appearing more in hospitals and has posed greater risk to various health facilities. Many patients are carriers of the HA-MRSA but may not show the disease symptoms. Such patients are the greatest source of the bacteria and transmit it to other patients through healthcare workers who handle the carriers and fail to observe hygiene measures before handling other uninfected patients. Other sources of transmission in healthcare facilities include sharing breathing tubes or catheters before proper sterilisation is done. HA-MRSA frequently occurs in hospitals where patients have fragile immune systems or undertake intrusive medical procedures (Mahamat, et al., 2007).
The symptoms of HA-MRSA include infections on surgical wounds, infections in the urinary tract, blood stream infections and in severe cases; chest pain, fatigue, rashes and muscle aches. In some cases, it may lead to skin infections which lead to boils on the skin which also comes with fever and pus-filled lesion (Rubinovitch and Pittet, 2001).
The treatment of the disease include administration of antibiotics (excluding methicillin) and conducting urine culture, sputum culture, skin culture and blood culture in order to contain the infection (Rubinovitch and Pittet, 2001).
Fauci A.S. Emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases: The perpetual challenge. Academic Medicine 80 (12): 1079–85, 2005
Mahamat, A., MacKenzie, F.M., Brooker, K., Monnet, D.L., Daures, J.P., Gould, I.M. Impact of Infection Control Interventions and Antibiotic Use on Hospital MRSA: a multivariate interrupted time-series analysis. International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents. 2007. Volume 30. p. 160-176
Rubinovitch, B., Pittet, D. Screening for Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in the Endemic Hospital: what have we learned? Journal of hospital Infection. 2001. Volume 47. p. 9-18
Taylor, L. et al. Risk factors for human disease emergence: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, 356(1411):983-9, 2001