My healthy 25 year old son had a boil on his jaw area about 2 weeks ago. Before I figured out if was a boil, he had squeezed it and within hours the infection was bad. Hot, swollen, red....he went the next day to a walk-in clinic as it was Sunday. He also had a sinus infection at the time. Doctor took a culture of the wound and gave him zithromax as my son is allergic to penicillan, levaquin, bactrim. A week later, they called and said it was MRSA - slight growth. We went to his regular GP who put him on 100mg twice daily of doxcycycline. Then he got another virus on top of all that. Stuffy head, cough, fatigue...no fever - I was wondering if it was a worsening mrsa infection????? He is now on day 5 of doxy....I am freaking out reading the net about this illness, especially due to the fact that he is highly allergic to many antibiotics. Thankfully the doxy is working. Oh, the walk in clinic doc also had him using bactroban ointment on the wound until it cleared. His regular doctor acted as this was no big deal - the mrsa infection. How will we know its gone??? And now I will worry constantly everytime he gets sick....if he was able to take any kind of antibiotic, it would not scare me so much.
Read the sticky I wrote at the top of this forum saying "MRSA explained". I don't understand why everyone is so terrified of this infection. You know the MRSA is gone when the lesion on his chin is getting better, which it seems like it is. After it's gone, your doctor may choose to "decolonize" your son by giving him body wash and nasal ointment to help reduce the burden of Staphylococcus he has on his skin. I would avoid reading the internet about MRSA because it is very sensationalized and people get quite afraid when it's not something to be that afraid of. Yes MRSA can cause serious infections, but so can its cousin MSSA which has been around for a lot longer.
Hi - I am freaked out because my son is allergic to most antibiotics. That is what scares me more than anything. The wound is 95% cleared up thank goodness. I did read your stickey. Seems you know alot about this - may I ask how? Just interest or have you been sick with MRSA yourself? The Doxy is making him feel like crud - very fatigued, some weird headaches and spacey feelings. He is also still recovering from some other virus he got the day before he started the Doxy. We'd call and have them change the antibiotic, but he is allergic to the others and clindamycin once before years ago destroyed his gut. So, he is just going to stick it out 5 more days with the doxy. And, yes I have 4 dogs. However, my son had 4 viral warts burned off about 6 weeks ago and we have a feeling, as his doctor, that it may be where he acquired the mrsa. I do know dogs can carry it yes. But before we go that route - or have myself or my husband tested, we want to see how things go after he finishes this antibiotic. MaryAnn
If you want to decolonize someone of Staphylococcus aureus, the nasal ointment is definitely necessary.
The decolonization protocol often used is:
Chlorhexidine body wash daily X 7d
Mupirocin (or fusidic acid) ointment to the nares three times a day for 7d
And sometimes people will also give two antibiotics orally daily for 7d. Choices often are rifampin and either septra or doxycycline.
Dealing with the animals with respect to MRSA isn't about getting rid of them. While MRSA is able to colonize, long-term, the skin of humans, it's not able to do it as well on the fur/skin of household pets like dogs or cats. They can, however, act as temporary hosts and therefore recolonize their owners. This is problematic because if you decolonize someone only to have them recolonized by their pet, you set up a circular effect where the bug is in fact "ping-ponged" back and forth. The way to deal with this is to have the pets removed from the household for a week (usually they're sent to a kennel) and then decolonize the entire household. Because dogs are only temporary hosts, the MRSA will disappear from their skin within about 7d and the cycle is broken.
It's important to decolonize all the humans in the household because most people who are colonized with MRSA (or MSSA for that matter) are asymptomatic.
I know you don't have to get rid of the animals. I have worked in the vet field for 7 years now. We have clients that their dogs have had/or have MRSA. I would feel better if my son had a nasal swab after he is done with the doxy. His doctor said its not necessary, but he would be fine doing it if we asked.
We've got to get him thru this 10 day regimen - its really making him feel horrible.