MRSA infection is a very serious matter which is why individuals need to know how to distinguish the signs and symptoms. It could mean the difference between life, limb or death since the disease can rapidly progress without proper care and intervention. The symptoms will help indicate how much MRSA has spread and affected the body and its organs.
Since MRSA is still a type of bacteria, infection will most likely result in symptoms reminiscent to that of a staph infection. However, the most usual ones would be skin infection and pneumonia compared to other types of staph infections. Symptoms may appear immediately after exposure but the onset is extremely variable anywhere between 1 to 10 days. Common sites of infection are the skin, the bloodstream, open or surgical wounds, burns especially those in the second and third degree, the eyes and urinary and blood catheter sites. Expect these areas to manifest abnormal effects upon transmission of the bacteria.
Traditional symptoms of MRSA infection would include red, warm, tender skin with the appearance of red round bumps that look like bug bites or pimples. These can then progress to boils, blisters and abscesses filled with pus. The patient may also experience fever, chills, nausea and acute pain of the muscles, bones and joints. Other accompanying symptoms are lethargy, headache, vomiting and malaise. These associated symptoms may occur during different periods depending on how and where the germs have spread.
Although MRSA symptoms are usually reminiscent to that of other less serious staph infections, patients should constantly look out for signs of progress in order to properly be provided the right medications and techniques. Some patients and even doctors misdiagnose the condition and give treatment that does not really work for the disease giving symptoms the opportunity to get worse.
Affecting the System
One of the problems that medical experts have observed with MRSA is that the early symptoms are very benign. People often delay in seeking medical attention and present themselves only once the organism has started to spread and enter the system with more complicated effects. MRSA is a rapid spreading bacteria. Development and spread can be very rapid especially if patients disregard the condition while it is still in its vulnerable stages.
Skin infections like infected wounds, abscesses and impetigo are still considered uncomplicated unless the bacteria starts to progress and dig deeper entering the bloodstream. Once MRSA enters the blood and the bacteria are distributed to various internal organs, the condition can become very serious and life-threatening. Patients will begin to manifest a variety of systemic symptoms indicating that the germs have reached a certain area such as pneumonia, septicemia, food poisoning, endocarditis, arthritis, meningitis, urinary tract infection and eye infection.
Patients with pneumonia will have difficulty breathing and constant formation of purulent sputum. Arthritis will result to acute pain of the bones and joints and partial immobility. Septicemia and food poisoning will result to gastrointestinal problems like diarrhea, flatulence, vomiting and dehydration. Affected individuals may also experience chest pains and fluctuations in blood pressure due to endocarditis or entrance of MRSA in the heart valves. Meningitis is when the germs reach the brain and can be fatal. It is also possible for the germs to localize in areas like the extremities or proliferate in existing wounds.