Staph/MRSA Specialist

Birmingham ID & Infusion

Infectious Diseases Specialists & Infusion Center located in Birmingham, AL

Staph infections are caused by staphylococcus bacteria, a type of bacteria that many people carry in their skin, hair, nose, or throat, even when they’re healthy. If these ordinarily harmless bacteria enter your skin through a wound, however, it can cause a severe — or even deadly — infection. The team of infectious disease specialists at Birmingham ID & Infusion in Birmingham, Alabama uses antibiotic IV infusion therapy to treat serious staph infections, including MRSA. To learn more, call or schedule an appointment online today.

Staph/MRSA Q & A

What is a staph infection?

A staph infection is an infection that occurs when staphylococcus bacteria enter your body through a cut or any other type of exposed wound on your skin, such as an open blister. In some cases, this causes a relatively minor skin infection that clears up with oral antibiotics and proper wound care. Skin infections caused by staph bacteria include:

  • Boils– an infection that produces pockets of pus
  • Impetigo– a contagious rash featuring large blisters
  • Cellulitis– an infection of the deep skin layers
  • Folliculitis– an infection that affects hair follicles

If staph bacteria go deeper into your body and enter your bloodstream, joints, bones, heart, or lungs, however, the infection can turn deadly. When staph bacteria begin to release toxins, it can lead to septicemia (blood poisoning). It can also cause toxic shock syndrome or septic arthritis.

What is MRSA?

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is an infection that’s caused by an antibiotic-resistant strain of staph bacteria.

Most MRSA infections affect vulnerable people who live in nursing homes, have recently had surgery, or require ongoing invasive medical care like dialysis. MRSA can also spread among healthy individuals in the wider community through skin-on-skin contact.   

Who is at risk for staph infections or MRSA?

Although an increasing number of otherwise healthy people develop severe or life-threatening staph infections, you’re more likely to contract a staph infection or MRSA if you:

  • Have been hospitalized recently
  • Have a weakened immune system
  • Play contact sports
  • Use invasive medical devices
  • Have some type of skin trauma
  • Reside in a long-term care facility

People living with HIV/AIDs and people who are undergoing cancer treatment are more susceptible to staph infections because their immune systems are compromised. Men and women who require dialysis are also at risk since staph bacteria can travel along the dialysis tubing and make its way to internal organs.  

How are serious staph infections treated?

After performing tests to identify the strain of staph bacteria that’s causing your infection, the team at Birmingham ID & Infusion can choose the antibiotic best suited for your condition.

Intravenous antibiotic therapy is generally the most effective way to treat severe staph infections, as many strains of the bacteria have become resistant to oral antibiotics.

Although MRSA is resistant to many types of antibiotics, it can still be treated with the right type of intravenous antibiotic therapy, especially when the infection is caught early.

Above all, it’s important to stay consistent with your treatment until the infection is fully resolved. That way, your infection won’t develop a resistance to the medication.

To schedule a consultation regarding an existing staph or MRSA infection, call Birmingham ID & Infusion or book an appointment online today.