Staph Infections or Spider Bites?


Wash Your Hands
Wash Your Hands! (photo from the CDC)

It’s not always spider bites that are creating the little bumps some patients see on their arms and legs according to the Abilene Reporter-News. In fact, it could be something more troublesome.

The article indicates that the apparent bug bites are sometimes a serious staph infection known as methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA.

Like we had enough to worry about with all sorts of bug bites and spider bites occurring at this time of year?

Interestingly, MayoClinic.com says most staph infections occur at a hospital or in a health care facility which could be a nursing home or even a dialysis center. So, it would seem this isn’t something you get while lying at home.

Patti Bull, the Hendrick Medical Center infection control coordinator in Abilene, says that staph or MSRA is highly contagious. “It only takes a small insult to the skin to allow MRSA to take advantage,” said Bull. “Even physicians are sometimes fooled by the general appearance of the small, angry-looking area. If you aren’t aware the infection is there and contagious, the proper precautions aren’t taken and the infection can spread to others.”

So, what can one do to find an effective treatment for staph infections? Effective treatments appear to include draining the cyst or boil according to Dr. Steve Kastl, a Hendrick Trauma Center physician.

In fact, the CDC paid for a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2006 which said doctors need to understand how serious and prevalent staph infections are. Among 422 skin infection cases analyzed in hospital emergency rooms in the study, 59% (or 249 cases) were caused by MRSA.

The Centers for Disease Control has a full list of recommendation on preventing staph – including washing your hands.

Here’s a story from YouTube on an apparent Staph infection.. grisly.

Whaddya think?

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August 1, 2008 – 3:38 pm

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