Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, is a bacterium that lives on the skin or in the nose. It is commonly referred to as a superbug due to its antibiotic resistance.
For most people, MRSA is not a risk. According to the CDC, approximately 33 percent of the US carries some staph, and 1 percent have MRSA. This is colonization, which means the host shows no symptoms. However, children, the recently sick, nursing home residents and people recently treated with antibiotics have an increased risk of developing an infection. If you worry about your risk of contracting MRSA, continue reading.
Know Washington MRSA regulations
The factor that every risk group shares are frequent visits to the doctor’s office or hospital. This raises the question of whether your doctor uses sanitary practices to keep you safe. Washington state legislature mandates that all licensed hospitals screen for MRSA. If you do not receive an MRSA screening, your doctor puts you at risk, mainly if you belong to a risk group.
Understand the risks
Besides screening, doctors must wash their hands and thoroughly sanitize their equipment. Unsanitary conditions propagate MRSA and put you at risk, and you can get the infection from contaminated bed linens, faucets and medical equipment. If you suspect your doctor exposed you to MRSA, find another doctor immediately and tell them your concerns.
MRSA is a dangerous bacterium that spreads quickly. If you suspect you contracted the infection, seek medical attention as soon as possible. If you delay, you risk developing sepsis, a blood infection that can be fatal.