Things took a scary turn when doctors told New York Giants’ Daniel Fells that his left leg may need to be amputated. He has been battling a MRSA infection, which is a very dangerous strain of Staphylococcus — here are 5 things you should know about the disease.
A week after New York Giants tight end Daniel Fells, 32, found out he had a MRSA infection, doctors informed him that he may lose his leg to the disease. So, what in the world is this aggressive infection? We’ve rounded up the most important facts about MRSA — everything from how to detect it to how to treat it.
1) What is MRSA? “Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a bacterium that causes infections in different parts of the body. It’s tougher to treat than most strains of Staphylococcus aureus — or staph — because it’s resistant to some commonly used antibiotics,” according to webmd.com.
2) What does it look like? “On the skin, MRSA infection may begin as a reddish rash with lesion(s) that looks like a pimple or small boil. Often it progresses to an open, inflamed area of skin (as pictured below) that may weep pus or drain other similar fluid. In some instances, it may appear as an abscess, a swollen, tender area, often with reddish skin covering. When the abscess is cut open or spontaneously bursts open, pus drains from the area,” medicinenet.com explains.
3) How does one get MRSA? “MRSA is spread by contact. So, you could get MRSA by touching another person who has it on the skin. Or you could get it by touching objects that have the bacteria on them. MRSA is carried by about 2% of the population (or 2 in 100 people), although most of them aren’t infected,” according to webmd.com.
4) What to do if you suspect you have MRSA. “Don’t try to treat the infection yourself. Go to your doctor. Minor MRSA skin infections usually heal after being drained. If the infection doesn’t heal well or gets worse, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics that are still effective against MRSA. If the infection is severe, you may need to be hospitalized. In rare cases, MRSA infections can become life-threatening,” mayoclinic.org explains.
5) What is the treatment for MRSA? “MRSA is treatable. By definition, MRSA is resistant to some antibiotics. But other kinds of antibiotics still work. If you have a severe infection, or MRSA in the bloodstream, you will need intravenous antibiotics. Unfortunately, there is emerging antibiotic resistance being seen with some of these medications,” according to webmd.com.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Daniel.
— Shira Benozilio