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Understanding MRSA -- Diagnosis & Treatment

How Do I Know If I Have MRSA?

How Is MRSA Diagnosed?

Your health care provider will be able to run lab tests to see if you have MRSA. If you have an infection on the skin, your doctor will take a culture from the infected area. Depending on your symptoms, your doctor also might test your blood, urine, or sputum (mucus coughed up from the respiratory tract).

What Are the Treatments for MRSA?

MRSA is treatable. By definition, MRSA is resistant to some antibiotics. But other kinds of antibiotics still work. Some of these antibiotics are only available intravenously. Unfortunately, there is emerging antibiotic resistance being seen with some of these medications.

Antibiotics, however, aren't always necessary. If you have a skin boil caused by MRSA, your doctor may just make an incision and drain it.

If you are prescribed antibiotics, follow your health care provider's instructions precisely. Never stop taking your medicine, even if you're feeling better. If you don't take all of your medicine, some of the staph bacteria may survive. These survivors then have the potential to become resistant to the antibiotic. They also could re-infect you or infect someone else.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Varnada Karriem-Norwood, MD on March 17, 2014

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