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Source: Center for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/mrsa/community/index.html
MRSA is methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, a type of staph bacteria that is resistant to several antibiotics. In the general community, MRSA most often causes skin infections. In some cases, it causes pneumonia (lung infection) and other issues. If left untreated, MRSA infections can become severe and cause sepsis - a life-threatening reaction to severe infection in the body. In a healthcare setting, such as a hospital or nursing home, MRSA can cause severe problems such as bloodstream infections, pneumonia and surgical site infections. For more information visit MRSA in healthcare settings.
Anyone can get MRSA on their body from contact with an infected wound or by sharing personal items, such as towels or razors, that have touched infected skin. MRSA infection risk can be increased when a person is in activities or places that involve crowding, skin-to-skin contact, and shared equipment or supplies. People including athletes, daycare and school students, military personnel in barracks, and those who recently received inpatient medical care are at higher risk.
Studies show that about one in three people carry staph in their nose, usually without any illness. Two in 100 people carry MRSA. There are not data showing the total number of people who get MRSA skin infections in the community.
Sometimes, people with MRSA skin infections first think they have a spider bite. However, unless a spider is actually seen, the irritation is likely not a spider bite. Most staph skin infections, including MRSA, appear as a bump or infected area on the skin that might be:
Warm to the touch
Full of pus or other drainage
Accompanied by a fever
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Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a bacteria that resists a myriad of antibiotics. In community-acquired infections, MRSA mainly causes skin infections. Besides, MRSA can cause pneumonia. MRSA infections could lead to sepsis in severe and untreated cases. On the other hand, hospital-acquired infections associated with MRSA include pneumonia and blood and surgical site infections. The spread of the bacteria includes making contact with the infected wound. Other means of transmission involve sharing personal items including razors and towels that have contacted infected skin (CDC, 2016). The risk of infection could be increased in places where crowding and sharing of supplies as well as skin-to-skin contact are common. Those at higher risk of infection are athletes, recently hospitalized individuals, military individuals in the barracks, and daycare children (CDC, 2016). Two percent of people carry the bacteria (CDC, 2016). At the onset, the MRSA skin infection would resemble a spider bite due to the irritation. However, the skin infection area could manifest with redness, pain, warmth, swelling, and presence of pus and other discharge.
#2 San Francisco Hep B Free: A Grassroots Community Coalition to Prevent Hepatitis B and Liver Cancer
Source: Peer-Review Academic Journal: Journal of Community Health https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10900-010-9339-1
A key component of SFHBF is provision of testing, vaccination, and follow-up for hepatitis B through existing health care providers. Hospital and clinic-affiliated testing and vaccination sites were funded, staffed, and managed by their independent institutions. Seven standalone public sites providing free hepatitis B testing and low-cost vaccination were established throughout the city beginning in 2007. These sites supplemented rather than replaced private providers or clinics, by making services more convenient for those with existing primary care, and to fill an unmet need for those without health insurance. Sites were manned by bilingual hospital/clinic staff and trained volunteers. Each site was separately managed according to its host institution’s infrastructure.
At the outset, clinical partners convened to agree on overall goals and strategies, establish minimum standardized testing and vaccination protocols, and define the basic data points on participant registration forms. Each partner site informed clients about their serological test results and recommended follow-up steps using a variety of methods. Clients found to be protected against hepatitis B were sent letters, while susceptible clients (who were advised to be immunized against hepatitis B) or chronically infected clients (who were advised to seek follow-up medical care) were contacted via a combination of letters, phone calls, e-mail, and in-person appointments.
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The SFHBF test, vaccinate, and carries follow-up for hepatitis B by utilizing the existing healthcare personnel (Bailey et al., 2011). The sites including clinic and hospitals that could be used for vaccination and testing were staffed, managed, and funded by the independent institutions. Besides, from 2007, seven standalone public sites for offering free hepatitis B testing as well as low-cost vaccination were set up (Bailey et al., 2011). The sites would then supplement the private clinics. Hence, the sites would harness convenience in the existing primary care. The trained volunteers and clinic staff would then man the sites. The tests would be done, and the partner sites would give the results of the serological tests and follow-up recommendations to the clients.
# 3 Fast, Cheap Testing for Tuberculosis? Soon It May Be Possible
Source: Newspaper: New York Times.
Diagnosing a lung disease like tuberculosis with a urine test may seem illogical, but a group of American researchers is now a step closer to that goal.
Scientists at George Mason University have improved by at least 100 times the accuracy of testing for a sugar shed by tuberculosis bacteria, meaning that a simple dipstick urine test may soon become possible.
If they could be found and treated sooner, more would be cured and the spread would slow.
The researchers’ study was published last month in Science Translational Medicine.
For decades, tuberculosis was diagnosed by chest X-rays, skin or blood tests, or by reading sputum samples under a microscope. But the W.H.O. has condemned skin and blood tests as inaccurate, X-rays detect only advanced damage, and microscopy requires trained pathologists.
Since 2010, detection has been revolutionized by GeneXpert machines, which take two hours to make the diagnosis. They not only find bacterial DNA in sputum but can tell if the strain is impervious to a common antibiotic, which suggests that the patient has multi-drug-resistant disease. But the machines are expensive, even at discounts offered to poor countries, and it is hard for weak patients and children to hock up lung mucus. (Some clinics have sealed “cough rooms” where salt mist is blown deep into lungs to trigger coughing fits.) Urine is easier to obtain.
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Over decades, diagnosis of tuberculosis was made by using chest X-rays, microscopic examination of sputum samples, or blood or skin tests. These techniques have their weaknesses. As such, W.H.O indicates that X-rays can only be useful in the detection of the disease in advanced stages (McNeil Jr, 2018). The blood and skin tests are considered inaccurate. On the other hand, microscopy needs trained pathologists. From 2010, the diagnosis was made by GeneXpert machines. However, the machines are expensive. Therefore, the use of urine test can be an alternative in the diagnosis of TB. At George Mason University, scientists have improved the accuracy of testing for sugar produced by the TB bacteria (McNeil Jr, 2018). By using a single dipstick urine test, diagnosis can be made.
Bailey, M. B., Shiau, R., Zola, J., Fernyak, S. E., Fang, T., So, S. K. S., & Chang, E. T. (2011). San Francisco Hep B Free: A Grassroots Community Coalition to Prevent Hepatitis B and Liver Cancer. Journal of Community Health, 36(4), 538–551. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10900-010-9339-1
CDC. (2016, March 25). General Information | MRSA | CDC. Retrieved July 1, 2018, from https://www.cdc.gov/mrsa/community/index.html
McNeil Jr, D. G. (2018, January 3). Fast, Cheap Testing for Tuberculosis? Soon It May Be Possible. The New York Times. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/01/health/tuberculosis-test-urine.html
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