The MRSA Super Bug: Will Your Hospital Visit Make You Sicker?
What You Need To Know About the MRSA Super Bug and Hospital Stays
In an ideal world a hospital would be a place of healing -- a safe refuge where you could go for treatment of illness, injury and disease. In the real world, however, the world where the MRSA super bug exists, hospitals are not that safe place. In fact, they can make you sicker than you were the day you checked in.
What's the MRSA Super Bug?
The MRSA super bug is a sometimes-deadly bacterial infection that plagues many hospitals across the nation. The bug is actually a staph infection, but it's a staph infection that's resistant to any antibiotic available to the medical community and it's highly contagious.
The MRSA super bug usually starts out on the skin, but if the infected area has an opening, such as a cut or abrasion, it can enter the body. This can result in serious illness including flesh-eating disease or blood infections.
Why Hospitals Are Affected
When people are sick with the MRSA super bug, they head to a hospital. At that point, the hospital can be contaminated, which is a very dangerous thing considering most of the people who are in hospitals have compromised immune systems to begin with.
The reason why this particular bug is such a threat is that it can be spread by surface contact. If you sit down in a chair that an infected person had been sitting in prior and your hand touches the same surface they just infected, you can contract the MSRA super bug right then and there. It's a scary situation. If the bug travels into your system through a cut, you may become seriously ill.
How Do You Know?
So how do you know if the hospital you're visiting has had outbreaks of the MRSA super bug? See if your state has laws requiring hospitals to report health care-related infections. Missouri, for example, has passed such legislation and has a website that allows residents to check whether or not their hospital has had any MRSA outbreaks.
Hopefully more states will be following their lead in the near future.