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What is MRSA?

Among the myriad of risks facing maritime workers, they must also be concerned about contracting methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). These infections can cause serious harm and are often resistant to many of the medications used to treat bacterial infections. MRSA infections can be deadly in some cases, so workers must remain informed about symptoms, how infections are contracted, and how to receive proper treatment. 

Staph bacteria are found everywhere, including on people's bodies. In some cases, this bacteria might actually enter a person's body, which in turn leads to MRSA. For many years, MRSA was often contracted within the hospital setting. However, these numbers of have been on the decline for a number of years. Unfortunately, people who obtain MRSA within the community, including in work settings, has been on the rise at the same time. 

This is known as community-associated MRSA. Close-quarter contact, which often occurs within maritime professions, is a contributing factor to acquiring MRSA. Additionally, many of the people who acquire community-associated MRSA are much younger than those who contracted it within a hospital setting. The average age for a community-associated MRSA is 23, as compared to the average age of 68 for MRSA obtained in a hospital or health care setting.

When infections take place on the skin, MRSA often looks like an abscess or sore. These sores are slow to heal and may grow deeper and more infected as time goes one. MRSA can also impact a person internally. For instance, MRSA can make its way into the bloodstream. It can also affect internal organs, such as the lungs. Common antibiotic treatments may be unsuccessful in dealing with these effects. This includes things like amoxicillin and penicillin, as well as other cephalosporins drugs. 

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