It is very important to prevent MRSA transmission. This infection is also known as methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus, which is a tough bacterium that can survive on many surfaces and is resistant to treatment from some antibiotics.
Transmission can occur from direct or indirect contact with this bacterium. By following prevention guidelines the risks of spreading the infection can be reduced.
When the transmission of these bacteria is not controlled, it can spread rapidly.
Indirect And Direct Contact
MRSA can be transmitted from a variety of different ways in hospitals and in the community. Since the bacteria is able to survive on surfaces for an indefinite amount of time, a person who comes in contact with a contaminated surface long after it became contaminated, could become infected. When this happens, it is considered indirect contact. Indirect contact occurs by sharing the following:
- Medical equipment
- Exercise equipment
- Healthcare tools
- Sports fields
- Dental equipment
Not all MRSA transmissions are from indirect contact. Some people get the infection from direct contact with the following:
- Pus from the infection
- The infection on skin
- MRSA rash
- Wound infected with MRSA
A person with MRSA colonization can cause others to become infected with the bacteria. Not everyone who comes in contact with MRSA bacteria will get an infection, it will depend if there are health issues that increase the risk of becoming infected.
Risks of MRSA Transmission
MRSA bacteria can be found on most surfaces but not everyone who touches the surface will acquire it. Those who have a compromised immune system will be more susceptible to acquiring an infection in the community (CA-MRSA). When MRSA prevention procedures are not followed in healthcare facilities, it increases the risk of a HA-MRSA infection. Other risk factors include the following:
- Breaks in skin
- Uncovered infections
- Poor hygiene
- Antibiotic use
- Shared surfaces are not sanitized
When MRSA prevention guidelines are followed, it reduces the risk of transmitting this type of staph bacteria.
MRSA Transmission Prevention
One of the simplest ways to avoid the transmission of MRSA is to wash hands with soap and water. Antibacterial products and antibiotics should be used sparingly so that it doesn’t contribute to staph bacteria mutating, adapting, and developing into resistant strains. Other ways to prevent MRSA transmission:
- Cover breaks in skin
- Use barrier between skin and shared surfaces
- Insist healthcare workers follow prevention guidelines
- Have good hygiene
- Keep immune system strong
When MRSA transmission is uncontrolled, it can result in the infection rapidly spreading to others, especially in high population facilities.
Uncontrolled MRSA Transmission
MRSA epidemics occur when MRSA treatment is ineffective or prevention guidelines are not followed. This is more common in high population facilities like the following:
- Fitness centers
- Nursing homes
- Group homes
When a MRSA infection is not diagnosed promptly or a person is not aware that they have colonization of the MRSA they can spread bacteria unknowingly.
MRSA transmission can be easily controlled with hand washing and being aware of MRSA symptoms so the prompt treatment and isolation can be started to reduce the risks of transmission.