Stands for Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, although it is often more conveniently termed 'Multiply resistant ~'. A throat bacterium that has become resistant (through horizonatal gene transfer) to many common antibiotics and can only be treated with 'last resort' drugs like vancomycin. Has only been found in hospitals, where a population of bacteria with various resistances reside. However, it raises the possibility that epidemics of resistant microbes could be as difficult to stop as the days before antibiotics.

See : overuse of antibiotics

Becoming more accurate now to call it "Multiply Resistant" due to outbreaks that do not respond to conventional antibiotics.

Standard treatment is to admit the patient to a surgery or medicine ward (depending on the location of infection) and give extremely high doses of several types of IV antibiotics for 7-10 days, monitoring the patient for a response to treatment.

I got to see several cases as a Corpsman. The most frightening was a MRSA respiratory infection. The patient was put in a negative pressure room and you could only enter wearing protective clothing and masks. No one was sure if it would spread through air or just through fluids, but no one wanted to volunteer to find out, either.

My wife recently contracted MRSA in both arms due to infiltrated IV sites. She was in the hospital for slightly more than a week. She was on a surgery ward because her arms were so swollen that they began to impede circulation. She could have died.

Moral:Take all of your antibiotics. The entire bottle, as prescribed. Don't use dirty needles. Be safe.

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