Are you wondering what a carrier is? Are you worried about getting rid of MRSA? Do you wonder if you will always be a carrier?
MRSA is fast becoming a major issue worldwide. It not only causes agonizing skin sores and blisters, but it also causes internal illnesses such as pneumonia.
The truth is an average person is exposed to these infectious bacteria, way more than you can imagine, but not everyone is infected by the exposure.
In some people, you will find the MRSA living inside the nose and on the skin but without any symptoms or infection. These people are referred to as “MRSA carriers“.
MRSA Carriers may likely never get infected but they can spread MRSA to other people who are more prone to become infected.
Here are some frequently asked questions and facts about MRSA that most doctors don’t even know.
MRSA and Staph carriers: Symptoms, infection transfer, testing and more
There are people who are simply Staph infection carriers. MRSA is a type of Staph bacteria that is resistant to antibiotics. You can still treat Staph more easily since it causes a less threatening infection.
What is a carrier? Carriers have living MRSA bacteria on or inside their bodies.
A carrier is someone who carries MRSA or Staph bacteria but might not necessarily be aware of it especially if they don’t get infected.
An average of 30% of the humans carry the Staph bacteria while an average of 1-5% are MRSA carriers. It could be on their skin and/or inside their noses or throats. The worst part is, they might not be conscious of it.
Have you ever heard a doctor say to someone ‘you are “colonized” with the bacteria’? It means the person is a carrier. MRSA colonization is just another phrase for being a carrier.
MRSA carriers can easily transmit the bacteria to others who may eventually become infected.
If you are a carrier, will you get an infection?
You may not necessarily be infected. The fact that you are a carrier the bacteria either on your skin or in your nose, does not automatically mean you being infected.
Unfortunately, you run a higher risk of becoming infected if you are a carrier than if you are not. Many things can increase your chances of being infected, like surgery or skin punctures, but again, this still does not really mean you will be infected.
Other factors that may increase your chances of being infected are age, stress; medical conditions such as diabetes; your infections history; amount and route of exposure and low immune system.
If you are a carrier, do you have an increased chance of getting MRSA?
Yes, you do. A study on Clinical Infectious Diseases shows that being a MRSA carrier increases your chances of being infected and dying. The research shows that about 25% of MRSA carriers of more than one year eventually become infected.
About 84% of such infections needed hospitalization while some of them resulted in death. The authors however warned that the data they presented may not be a full representation of all carriers in general because their study was based on medical center patients.
Another study on infectious diseases shows that persistent carriers run a greater risk of being of infected and dying.
Unfortunately, since certain MRSA infections can be life threatening, some specific groups of people are in more danger, such as the elderly, the young, and those with weak immune system.
In the light of this, more emphasis is put on creating procedures for decolonization and finding ways to remove the bacteria from the body.
Keep reading for information on prevention and treatment methods.
If you’re a carrier, can you infect someone else?
Yes, you can definitely transmit the bacteria to other people, some of which would likely be infected. It’s also possible for them not to get infected and they also may not carry the bacteria.
As mentioned earlier, there are lots of risk factors to consider aside from the bacteria exposure.
Medical practitioners tend to understate the dangers of being a carrier or of being around carriers. Unfortunately, carriers can transmit the disease to unsuspecting others. It has also been documented that MRSA carriers can spread the bacteria into the air.
According to research done in Leeds University in 2001, there are potential dangers of catching MRSA in a hospital. The study showed that infected people or those colonized can easily spread the bacteria into the air, which becomes a danger to others around them.
How do you know if you carry MRSA?
The standard method of is doing a bacterial culture test of the patient’s nose. This is done by taking a swab of the inside of the nose, then the lab runs a test to check if MRSA is present.
If a person is a carrier, you will most likely find the bacteria in the nose. If the nose culture test comes our positive, then you are a carrier. If the nose culture test turns out negative, it is possible that you are still a carrier because it’s not just in the nose.
The bacteria also stay in other parts of the bodies aside from the nose. According to some doctors, running a test on the back of the throat will give a more accurate result.
This because the bacteria prefer warm and moist places, such as the nose, throat, armpits and the groin. To be certain, some doctors prefer to test the throat and groin area along with the nose.
What are the symptoms of being a MRSA carrier?
If a carrier is not infected, he or she will not show infection symptoms.
Some of the most obvious symptoms of infection include an infection that looks like a bug or spider bite, skin bumps, pimples, boils and abscesses.
For internal infections, you would have to go to the hospital for check up or tests. The internal infections include pneumonia, septicemia or catheter infections.
How do you become a carrier? What are the risk factors?
The bacteria can easily be picked up by being around infected people; this happens mostly in hospitals, nursing homes and any other healthcare facilities.
Unfortunately, family members can become carriers or become infected by caring for their infected children or parents.
MRSA bacteria are easily transferrable to the skin from surfaces and objects that are contaminated with the bacteria, especially from objects like phones, doorknobs, toys, etc.
Anyone who has had an infection can easily become a carrier. It can also be contracted from the dusty air and other particles.
MRSA Decolonization And Treatments For Carriers
Will you always be a carrier?
It’s a possibility that you would have to live with, even if you have stopped carrying the bacteria. Those who have both been infected and carried the disease before have subsequently tested negative on nose cultures for the bacteria. This can happen for people using either antibiotics or natural treatment methods.
Sadly MRSA and Staph are not so easy to get rid of. These bacteria are able to create biofilm colonies and L-form “stealth bacteria” in order to hide and protect themselves inside the body of their carriers.
Unfortunately, most antibiotics are ineffective against these stealth bacteria. In such cases, the non-antibiotic approaches are more effective. For instance, taking maintenance levels of natural antimicrobial substances such as oregano essential oils and olive leaf herbal supplements can be very helpful.
Using products that destroy the biofilm layers in the body can be helpful and these will help your antibiotics to work better. An example of such products is Manuka honey. It is also very crucial that you strengthening your immune system.
How can you decolonize from MRSA?
Presently, the conventional MRSA decolonization methods available include applying the antibiotic cream mupirocin and swabbing the inside of your nose with it. You can also use antibacterial body wash soap called chlorhexidine as well as oral antibiotics.
According to a research in the Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology Journal, an effective decolonization protocol involves using a combination treatment of mupirocin nasal antibiotic, chlorhexidine mouthwash and a daily body wash using chlorhexidine soap.
You can treat intestinal, urinary and vaginal colonization at the same time. If this treatment program fails, you can add oral antibiotics.
The only downside is that antibiotics tend to kill off the good bacteria that protect and support the health. In order to deal with this and other side effects, the methods that work well with the body and minimize antibiotic side effects are recommended.
Complementary treatments like swabbing of the nose with essential oils and properly supporting the immune system can help clear MRSA bacteria from the patient’s nose.
Using Vitamin D is another simple solution. According to a study in the Scandinavian Journal of Infectious Disease, low Vitamin D can increase the risk of MRSA nasal colonization.
Vitamin D works helps to support the immunity, by helping the skin to create antibacterial agents. Sadly, a lot of people are Vitamin D deficient.
Can you totally remove MRSA from your body?
It’s been said often that many people don’t test positive after having been infected and treated. However, I don’t believe that having the mindset of “total elimination” is necessarily appropriate because it could lead to some sort of paranoia
This is because a person may be exposed to it again when in the community or in a hospital or any other healthcare location.
A more appropriate mindset would be to ensure that balance is restored to the protective bacteria in your gut and on your skin. You should also make sure that the body’s natural defense is restored back to health.
This is because this superbug bacteria is practically everywhere today and so it’s crucial to make sure your body is more resistant to them. If you have a strong immune system and your body is in a balanced state, then it would be easier to resist.
A Holistic Approach To Protecting Against Infections
The best way to prevent yourself from being infected is to use a multi-front approach. Although having a good hand and body hygiene is a good idea, it is very important to use treatments that work.
Making sure that your home is clean is also quite crucial. You get the best results by ensuring that your body is naturally resistant to infections.
If you find that you are a carrier or tested positive to an active infection, it is important that you choose and use the best treatments that will support your body without destroying it.
For those who have been infected in the past, make sure you boost your immune system and do everything to maintain your natural resistance.
Hope this article has been helpful in giving you tips about how to stop MRSA.