Many people who have a staph skin infection often mistake it for a spider bite.
If staph infects the lungs and causes pneumonia, you might have:
Shortness of breath
MRSA can cause many other symptoms, because it can 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, only a handful of necrotizing fasciitis cases has been reported.
Call Your Doctor About MRSA If:
You have signs of active infection; in most cases, MRSA is easily treated. MRSA infection can be serious or -- rarely -- fatal.
If you are already being treated for an infection, watch for signs that your medicine isn't working. If you are taking an antibiotic, call your doctor if:
The infection is no better after three or four days
The infection keeps getting worse
You develop a fever, or your fever gets worse
People who are ill or have a compromised immune system have a higher risk of getting serious MRSA infections. If you have a condition that lowers your immunity, call your doctor right away if you think that you might have an infection.
Centers for Disease Control web site.
The American Academy of Family Physicians web site.
Capriotti, T. Dermatology Nursing, Jan. 26, 2004; vol 15: pp 535-538.
Johnson, L. Infections in Medicine, 2005; vol 22: pp 16-20.
WebMD Feature: "Drug-Resistant Staph Spreads Across U.S."