My 15-month-old niece was recently diagnosed with staph & MRSA. It had started with a diaper rash. The diaper rash soon turned into three or four very large boils on the child's vagina and leg. The parents took her right to their pediatrician who lanced and drained them (awful experience for both the child and parents). Doc had samples tested.
Results came back as staph & MRSA.
The doc had prescribed liquid Septra at the lancing appointment and instructed Mom and Dad to keep her on it for 10 days and to call if things worsened. And that's it.
We have a few concerns that I'm wondering if anyone might be able to offer advice or support for:
First, after what I'm reading on the Net and recalling from various newscasts (both local and national), MRSA is a pretty big deal. Was she contagious when we all thought she just had a simple diaper rash and a few boils?
Next, tomorrow is day 10 of the antibiotic, and the open wounds from the first visit (the lancings) have improved some. They are scabbing over and are not open and oozing anymore. But they are still there, and now Mom is wondering if she might be developing new sores. But the baby is sooo happy and normal-acting!
Also, what can we expect in the future for her? Is this like herpes or athlete's foot; that is, something that will always be with her and she might have flare-ups from time to time? Is the "baby-diaper-rash" type of MRSA different than the awful skin-eating, kill-you-in-36-hours stuff I've been reading about on the Net?
Lastly, what questions should we be asking the pediatrician? I'm really surprised they just treated this like nothing more than an ear infection or typical cold, "Take this and call if it's not better." They gave absolutely no instruction at all about transmission, prevention or what to expect from this.
Sorry for the length. If there's anything I haven't been clear about or if there's anything that our family must know that we obviously don't from this post, please, please let me know. We're a very close family and absolutely in love with this child. We want to do everything humanly possible to keep her healthy.
Yesterday was day 9 of the antibiotic, and baby's mom noticed a new bump on her rear-end. This morning, the bump had turned into a very large whitehead, so she called the pediatrician's on-call service. They told her to come right in, and a doctor would see her there.
This time she saw a different doctor. The new doctor put baby on a different antibiotic (I'm not sure which one yet) and gave new instructions. No more baths for baby; only showers now. Everything in the bathroom of the baby's residence has to be thrown away. EVERYTHING. Even stuff baby never touched (Mom & Dad's toothbrushes and toothpaste, for example). This doctor feels that moist/wet places where baby is totally exposed daily is a big culprit of the bacteria.
Baby's mom asked if this is something the child will have for the rest of her life, and the doctor said she didn't believe so. She did say there are different strains of MRSA and that we (the family) don't have to go into complete panic mode, but use common sense. Don't touch any open wounds on the baby and it might be best to stay away until the wounds close up and she doesn't develop any new sores.
We just feel so helpless. All I want to do is go and hug on my niece, play with her and make her smile and laugh. But then I'll read how contagious this is and how family members of a MRSA "patient" need to wear gloves and protective clothing before they touch the "patient."
We have a family business, and I'm used to seeing my niece every day. I miss her and I'm also concerned for the rest of my family
I am sorry your family has to deal with this. It must be difficult. First off, if you go down to previous threads in this topic area of the healthboards, I've written a thread called "MRSA explained"--take a gander at that.
MRSA is a big deal, but it's been blow WAAAAY out of proportion. The SA in MRSA stands for Staphylococcus aureus which is a bacteria that normally lives on the skin in many people. It doesn't cause any problems unless it somehow gets UNDER the skin and can cause boils. The MR part of MRSA stands for methicillin resistant, which means that this strain of Staph is resistant to a certain class of penicillins we used to use to treat Staph infections.
In the States, MOST Staph aureus strains are MRSA, while in Canada only 20% of them are. MRSA tends to cause multiple skin boils, which is clearly consistent with your neice's presentation.
If you're trying to prevent transmission, too late. I guarantee you that your neice's parents are already colonized with the bacteria--in fact, they were probably the ones who passed it to your neice! It's very difficult to totally eradicate it, but throwing away all that stuff and cleaning up the house is a good idea. Another thing they can do is, once the baby's new infection is gone, the entire family should undergo a decolonization protocol which consists of a body wash, nasal ointment, shampoo and oral antibiotics. Decreasing the amount of Staph living on the skin may prevent further furuncles from forming.
Don't worry as much though--MRSA is no different than other skin infections. It's just gotten a lot of press which makes people worried about it. If you want a sensational story on the news, either make it about sex or an infectious disease--people are terrified of them.
We just make sure to Lysol the tub area and the bath tub mat, and to use clean towels/washclothes on my 2 year old who gets staph boils every so often on her butt. (I'm colonized ever since I got MRSA in my c-section incision 2 years ago). We also take care to wash our hands frequently when changing diapers (before and after) so as to minimize introducing something to her, and to stop spreading anything elsewhere.
One thing: being colonized is not the same thing as having the infection. Many people are colonized with Staph aureus and don't have a single symptom their whole lives.
I know you don't want to pass anything on to your baby, but if you're colonized with it, I guarantee your baby is too--there's nothing you can really do to prevent that unless the entire family undergoes a decolonization protocol. The fact that your baby has gotten staph furuncles on her butt shows that she's colonized with it too.
Great news! My niece has responded beautifully to the new meds she started last Saturday. I still don't know the names (I glanced at them this morning at her doctor's appointment, but didn't recognize the names, nor do I remember the names at this point), but one is a cream/ointment and the other is a liquid oral antibiotic. Baby's doctor was thrilled with the results. And he said we can absolutely, positively spend time with her and "be around" her. Obviously use common sense, keep ourselves clean and be hygiene-minded as you would with a baby, but her sores are closed up now and well on the way to recovery and she should not be necessarily "quarantined" from her family.
I did not ask about decolonization for us, the family. The doctor said that most everyone has staph already on them, and even if it gets into a cut or sore, 95 percent of the time, our bodies can fight it off. I got the impression from him that even though we probably have this bacteria already on us, it's okay since we're not suffering from sores that turn into nightmares overnight or do not heal (I think what Cgranulomatis said, too). I also got the impression from him that she's responding well to the meds, so all's good and it's "working."
Would this be the doctor to speak to about decolonization? I mean, if staph is so prevalent in everyday life anyway, what good is five or six immediate family members going through decolonization? Aren't we just going to pick it up again down the road from a grocery store buggy or the handle of a door at a public building?
Anyway, just some ramblings and thoughts and concerns, lol! We are hugely relieved she's responding well, and our minds have been put at ease for the time being. We're still going to keep a careful watch to make sure no more sores show up on baby, tho!
Last edited by StenoLady1; 01-14-2009 at 02:32 PM.
Yes....maybe you'll be exposed to Staph again on the handle of a grocery cart buggy, but remember that you also have immune system--95% of the time, your own immune system will take care of it. Relax and have fun with your neice--if you get another infection in the future, deal with it then! Otherwise, I'm glad everyone is feeling great!