How is MRSA (Mersa) diagnosed?


If you or someone you know has had a Mersa, you may be wondering if Mersa is contagious.

What is Mersa?

Mersa is another name for MRSA , or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus , a type of bacteria that can cause skin infections . While they were previously limited to people with weak immune systems in hospitals and nursing homes, they are increasingly seen in healthy adults and children. MRSA infections are sometimes limited to simple pimple-like infections, but they can also develop into much larger abscesses and boils that need to be drained .

Unfortunately, MRSA infections can also lead to much more serious infections, including bloodstream infections (bacteremia and sepsis), bone infections, and pneumonia .

Pseudomonas aeruginosa is another bacteria that can cause skin infections. This is most commonly associated with a "hot bath rash," an itchy rash with painful red bumps and pimples around hair follicles, especially around a baby's bathing suit. Fortunately , this mild infection usually clears up without treatment, although some children do. Antibiotic treatment is required. This skin infection is generally not considered contagious.

Pseudomonas aeruginosa can be found in contaminated pools and lakes, but children are more likely to have a ' hot tub rash' in an infected hot tub or spa .

Other infections that can be caused by Pseudomonas aeruginosa include swimmer's ear infections, bone infections, pneumonia, urinary tract infections, and meningitis. With the exception of swimmer's ear, these other more serious infections usually only occur when the child has another underlying health problem, such as diabetes or cystic fibrosis .

MRSA. Jodie Jacobson / Getty Images


Doctors diagnose MRSA by checking a tissue sample or nasal discharge for signs of drug-resistant bacteria. The sample is sent to a laboratory where it is placed in a dish containing nutrients that stimulate the growth of bacteria. But since it takes about 48 hours for bacteria to grow, new tests that can detect Staphylococcus DNA in a matter of hours are increasingly available .

Watch out

Both MRSA and community strains still respond to certain antibiotics. For example, clinicians may drain a superficial MRSA abscess and consider adding antibiotic coverage based on clinical judgment .

Is MRSA contagious?

As most people know, MRSA skin infections are very contagious. In addition to protecting your child from MRSA infection, it is important to see a pediatrician so that they can receive proper treatment. If the wound drains and cannot be closed completely, the child should probably be excluded from sports. so that it does not infect other children.

It is also important to wash your baby's clothes, towels, and bedding in hot water.

To prevent other children from getting MRSA, it is recommended that you :

  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Shower every day and again after exercise.
  • Cover bug bites, sores, cuts, and abrasions.
  • Do not share it with other personal items, such as towels, clothing, washcloths, and razors.
  • Clean and / or cover school and gym equipment before and after use.
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