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    Drug-Resistant Staph a Growing Problem

    Experts Call for Worldwide Vigilance to Slow Methicillin-Resistant Staph's Rise

    MRSA Symptoms

    Symptoms depend on the part of the body affected.

    MRSA most often appears as a skin infection, like a boil or abscess. It also might infect a surgical wound. In either case, the area would be:

    • Swollen
    • Red
    • Painful
    • Pus-filled

    Many people with a staph skin infection mistake it for a spider bite.

    Staph that infects the lungs and causes pneumoniapneumonia can lead to:

    • Shortness of breath
    • Fever
    • Chills

    MRSA can cause a myriad of other symptoms since it can also infect the urinary tract or the bloodstream.

    Very rarely, staph can result in necrotizing fasciitis, or "flesh-eating" bacterial infections. These are serious skin infections that spread very quickly. While frightening, necrotizing fasciitis caused by staph is rare, with only a handful of reported cases.

    Prevent MRSA Infection

    To prevent MRSA infection, the CDC's recommends the following:

    • Wash your hands. Use soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. It's important to wash thoroughly. Experts suggest you wash your hands for as long as it takes to recite the alphabet.
    • Cover cuts and scrapes with a clean bandage. This will help the wound heal as well as prevent the spread of bacteria to other people.
    • Do not touch other people's wounds or bandages.
    • If you use shared gym equipment, wipe it down before and after you exercise.

    Drying clothes, sheets, and towels in a dryer, rather than letting them air dry, also helps kill bacteria.

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