Fighting infectious diseases today is much easier than in the past. With proper hygiene and proper precautions, in addition to numerous vaccines and rapidly advancing medical technology, people are better equipped than ever to avoid getting sick.
- Evaluation and management of infants, children and adolescents with unusual or severe infections
- Management of infections in immunocompromised infants, children and adolescents
- Diagnosis of fever of unknown origin; management of children on home IV antibiotics
- Immunization advice for infants, children and adolescents traveling abroad
Prevention is the key to fighting many infectious diseases. Part of preventing the spread of an infectious disease includes:
- Proper hand washing techniques
- Following the nationally recommended immunization schedule for children and adults
- Taking medications correctly
Even with proper prevention, sometimes a disease is unavoidable. Some reasons may include the following:
- Evolution of drug-resistant strains of a disease
- Changes in a person’s environment
- Increased travel
- Inappropriate use of prescription drugs
- Lack of attention to proper personal hygiene
What is MRSA?
The organism Staphylococcus aureus is found on many individuals’ skin and seems to cause no major problems. However, if it gets inside the body, for instance under the skin or into the lungs, it can cause infections such as boils or pneumonia. Individuals who carry this organism are usually healthy, have no problems and are considered simply to be carriers of the organism.
The term MRSA or methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus is used to describe those examples of this organism that are resistant to commonly used antibiotics. Methicillin was an antibiotic used many years ago to treat patients with Staphylococcus aureus infections. It is now no longer used except as a means of identifying this particular type of antibiotic resistance.
Individuals can become carriers of MRSA in the same way that they can become a carrier of ordinary Staphylococcus aureus which is by physical contact with the organism. If the organism is on the skin then it can be passed on by physical contact. If the organism is in the nose or is associated with the lungs rather than the skin, then it may be passed around by droplets spread from the mouth and nose. We can find out if and where Staphylococcus aureus is located on a patient by taking various samples, sending them to the laboratory and growing the organism. Testing on any Staphylococcus aureus grown from such specimens can then decide how sensitive the organisms is to antibiotics and if it is a methicillin resistant (MRSA) organism. These tests usually take 2-3 days.
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